Open your own restaurant business and bet every energy to achieve this goal. It would seem a story of a simple Italian company in the sector. But it has something special and extraordinary. Because the story of those who started this business is extraordinary. A story of integration. She is Sonia, an Italian name. But her surname is Thiaro. She is a woman from Senegal. She has been in Italy for years. After many works, the discovery of the vocation for catering, which changed her life. And that for a while, unfortunately, Covid has stopped. But she is ready to start again with the same energy.
Integration, Sonia and her story
Sonia left Senegal in 2001. She was 25 years old and she reached Italy where her brothers were living and she settled in Rimini. But she had many fears: the need to find a job, a contract to ensure that her residence permit is renewed. And so she started working first in Bologna as a cleaning lady. Then in Milan, where she worked as a carer, without remuneration but with room and board and a six-month residence permit. Sonia recounted this difficult period that changed and made her better. A story of integration and hope.
Finally Rimini, the city that she had chosen and that chose her. Here she worked in a butcher shop, with a couple with whom she established a special relationship, like a big family. Until the turning point: working in a restaurant and discovering a passion, that of cooking. And her face, her sympathy: many remember them. “It has been a wonderful 17 years. Opening the restaurant also meant saying ‘thank you.'”
In fact, a few years later she decided to start her own business, after learning the ropes and obtaining citizenship. The opening of her own restaurant, was the turning point. Trattoria Sonia, at number 30 in via Santa Cristina. “I will cook only Romagna or Italian food – she said -. I have never been discriminated against, never treated badly, I have been so lucky.” The Trattoria opened on February 22 with a large buffet for many people. Then the Covid emergency and the sudden closure.
Restart and integration in Sonia’s restaurant in Romagna
And now that the worst seems to be behind us, Sonia wants to bet on herself again. With the same courage and desire for redemption that have accompanied her over the years. “Covid hasn’t stopped me, my Romagna is back on the table. – she told to Corriere – I am really happy I can go back to work. I was looking forward to this afternoon, Monday, I finished rearranging the tables, I installed the containers with the sanitizing gels, the signs to inform the customers of the reopening. I would never have said with my story behind me that I also have to face the lockdown and the epidemic. But we are here. I won’t miss the job, and it’s a blessing.”
A tribute to the land that welcomed her
Her love for Italy and for the city that welcomed her is strong. It will be an all-Romagna cuisine. “We offer a menu of only Romagna or local food – she notes – because Romagna has welcomed me like a daughter, and I feel to belong to Romagna.” A rich menu from classic tagliatelle with ragù, to cappelletti, tastes with an ancient flavor that are reborn with the passion of a woman who has made her dream come true.
Featured image by Juan Jose on Unsplash