Papa Rico’s is donating a percentage of each sale toward helping colon cancer patients and their families.


A Family Recipe

It all started with an old recipe. When I married my husband in 2004, during the process of moving in together, he discovered a very old family recipe for homemade spaghetti sauce. We decided that he should give it a try! My family hails from Sicily, the small island at the southernmost tip of Italy. More specifically, they come from the Carlentini region- and if you know Carlentini, you know that our sauce is the real deal.

Throughout the years of our marriage, my husband Rico (the pretty face on the label) has meticulously perfected our recipes. Often, we would serve the sauce to family and friends at our get-togethers- their response was always ecstatic. After countless times hearing my family talk about how the sauce was so good we should sell it, we finally decided to take their advice- and thank goodness we did!  

With my retirement from a rewarding career in education looming over our heads, and an encouraging group of family and friends, we finally decided it was time to try marketing our sauce. 

Donna & Rico

From Our Family to Yours

 In May of 2018, we decided to do something radical. We brought our spice packets to set up a display in a local farmer’s market. Of course, we had made a batch prior to this engagement, and had a container out for customers to sample the sauce. The response was overwhelming. Every customer who tried it could not get enough! They absolutely loved it! 

Many of the customers who approached our booth at the farmer’s market were inquiring about purchasing the sauce, pre-made, in jars. Of course, at the time, we had only developed the “make it yourself” version of our product. This was a totally new endeavor- before our experience at the farmer’s market, we had decided that we wanted to provide customers with the same fresh, homemade experience we enjoyed so much. 

We decided that after our success at the farmer’s market, we would have to step up our production to meet the increasing demand. We searched high and low for a partner who could assist us with increasing our production volume without compromising the integrity of our sauce’s taste. 

Our Transition to Retail

After an extensive search, we finally found a co-packer who could produce the sauce on a larger scale without losing any of that homemade taste which made us so popular. Papa Rico worked tirelessly with the staff at the production facility to be absolutely sure that we were not losing any flavor or freshness with the new process. He spent countless hours perfecting the processes (which we still use today) in order to make our dream come true. 

Since the sauce was being crafted in a professional, factory-like environment, we had the opportunity to shop our sauce around to various grocery stores in the area. As it usually goes, one store said yes, and was subsequently followed by many others who wanted our product on their shelves. 

After one year’s time in full production mode, our sauce was a huge hit. Our success with the first sauce is what led us to explore other products that could be complementary to the original. This is what led to our development of the wonderfully zesty Italian dressing, the two incredible cheese blends, and a bold extrapolation from the original sauce into three amazing new red sauces, all based on the classic which made us famous. 

Papa Rico’s has grown exponentially since we first opened up. We are over the moon thanks to the kindness shown to us by family and friends, and we are so grateful for the encouragement we have received from customers and the companies who carry our products! 


We have expanded into five different states and now ship our products all over the world. We never thought our Sicilian family recipe could have such an impact on the world. If our ancestors could see us now, they would swell with pride at what we have built using their wisdom. 

In October of 2019, Rico lost his mother to a battle with colon cancer. As an act of thanks and in remembrance of all that she has done for Rico and our family, Papa Rico’s donates a percentage of each sale to charitable organizations focused on helping colon cancer patients and their families. So when you buy our products, you’re not only treating yourself, you’re helping someone in need. We make a daily commitment to stand firmly behind anyone who can help our neighbors, and we hope you will too. 

Don't Just Hear It From Us

See what our customers are saying.

  • Alex Nielsen Avatar
    Alex Nielsen
    - Facebook

    Amazing, far better than anything else I’ve tried over the years.

    Lynch Art Avatar
    Lynch Art
    - Facebook

    The red sauce is delicious! The Parmesan cheese, spices and Italian dressing are all delicious! Highly recommend!

    Eva J Herron Avatar
    Eva J Herron
    - Facebook

    This is the best that I have ever served. My family in Lebanon Tn love it. Will buy again soon.

  • Justin Ross Avatar
    Justin Ross
    - Facebook

    Hands down best sauce I have ever had. The Italian dressing is fantastic as well.

    Heather Rae Avatar
    Heather Rae
    - Facebook

    We tried the pasta sauce and Italian dressing and both were fantastic! Highly recommend!

    Chad Lloyd Avatar
    Chad Lloyd
    - Facebook

    Never had a bad experience with any of Papa Rico's items love them all.

  • Vicki Bernholtz Jung Avatar
    Vicki Bernholtz Jung
    - Facebook

    The absolute best sauce ever. I stock up whenever I'm down to one jar.

    Teresa Woods Avatar
    Teresa Woods
    - Facebook

    This is the best sauce I've ever had! I made eggplant parmesan with it tonight. Delish!!!

    Dawn DeBolt-Neighbors Avatar
    Dawn DeBolt-Neighbors
    - Facebook

    Very good sauce and I love the Italian salad dressing too!
    I made chicken parmigiana!

  • Angie Netzel Avatar
    Angie Netzel
    - Facebook

    Every single product is amazing. We go to the Bellevue Farmers Market all the time to buy this stuff. OUR FAVORITE!

    Amanda Davis Avatar
    Amanda Davis
    - Facebook

    The sauce is delicious and goes with such a variety of foods.

    Courtney Nutt Avatar
    Courtney Nutt
    - Facebook

    Amazing spaghetti sauce! My husband and I hate sharing it with the kids still at home. 😂

  • Dennis Schuett Avatar
    Dennis Schuett
    - Facebook

    It’s as good as it gets! Just finished our first jar

    Kiyoko Wrye-Henderson Avatar
    Kiyoko Wrye-Henderson
    - Facebook

    I have used this sauce for sausage & peppers and for dipping! Next will be chicken parm! It is delicious!!!

    Sarah Averill Karnes Avatar
    Sarah Averill Karnes
    - Facebook

    Tastes just like Nana's! Please bring it to the grocery stores on the north side!

  • Jenelle Fitzpatrick Avatar
    Jenelle Fitzpatrick
    - Facebook

    Oh my goodness. The reaper sauce. I've been a $1 Can of Hunt's garlic and herb girl my whole life. I just had no idea what I was missing! Delicioso!

    Ken Sedlak Avatar
    Ken Sedlak
    - Facebook

    Got mine!! 😎 Hy-Vee in Plattsmouth now has Papa Rico’s sauce for us to enjoy!!

    Tracy Rollins Avatar
    Tracy Rollins
    - Facebook

    Exceptional! So thick, dark red, smooth, scrumptious, and locally made! Thank you!

  • Jayte Burns Avatar
    Jayte Burns
    - Facebook

    I’m an instant fan. Love supporting local businesses.

    You need to try his spaghetti sauce. Shadow Lake Hy-Vee in Papillion has it.

    Tracy Barrett Avatar
    Tracy Barrett
    - Facebook

    Love the flavor!!!! I recommend this sauce for everyone to try!!!

    Amee Van Voorhis Avatar
    Amee Van Voorhis
    - Facebook

    I have used both the spices and already made sauce . Enjoyed both.

  • Laurie Dooley-Patrick Avatar
    Laurie Dooley-Patrick
    - Facebook

    We love Papa Rico’s hot red sauce. Best sauce ever! Makes awesome meatball subs and it’s also great in any pasta dish.

    Zach Barrientos Avatar
    Zach Barrientos
    - Facebook

    Have you tried Papa Rico’s? If not, your chances are improving real soon! Follow them and find out when/where/how to try this deliciousness!

    Jenni Dasovic Avatar
    Jenni Dasovic
    - Facebook

    Just made the medium using the seasoning packet and it was amazing! will be buying again!

  • Robert Manning Sr. Avatar
    Robert Manning Sr.
    - Facebook

    You will love it brothers and sisters! So try it !!!!!!!

    Kelly Kat Leisure Avatar
    Kelly Kat Leisure
    - Facebook

    now I've heard nothing but positive things about this sauce, so it's my turn to step up to the plate and go grab some. and what an awesome name. Papa Rico's.

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7804 S. 71st Street LaVista, NE 68128

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