Moreno Pascon, 54, originally from Tarzo (Treviso), belongs to that category of Italians who have made their dreams come true abroad. An example of great courage and determination, Moreno, who left Italy after losing his job, managed to open an ice cream shop in Schramberg, a city in Baden-Württemberg, in the Black Forest, Germany. His story is unbelievable, because just when everything seemed lost, Moreno showed he had great willpower by deciding to rebuild his life, starting from scratch.
Today his ice cream shop is one of the most renowned abroad, and he, an appreciated ice cream maker-decorator, has already received several and important awards, which make him a true professional in the sector.
From dismissal in Italy to revenge in Germany
It all began in December 2012, when Moreno was fired on the spot by the company where he works, which considers him “too old”. He is 46, has a wife and two children. It is a blow to the whole family. Moreno is disheartened but knows that despite everything he has to roll up his sleeves and look for a new job. After two years of unemployment, he decides to leave Italy and lay the foundations for his future and that of the whole family elsewhere.
In 2014, thanks to an acquaintance of his wife Rosanna, he left for Germany. There, with tenacity and a lot of commitment, he begins to build his new life. Learn German and the craft of ice cream, absolutely new to him. He works for six years and perfects himself in this job. Decorate the ice creams in an impeccable way, so as to soon get numerous awards.
Moreno Pascon and his sons become the managers of “Punto Gelato”
Everything is proceeding in the right direction and, in February of this year, Moreno finally opens his own ice cream shop: “Punto Gelato”. His two sons, Davide and Alex, join him in the new business. They both have specific roles: Davide takes care of the administration, Alex works at the counter. Only his wife Rosanna remains in Italy, where she cooks in a hospital. She, who joins them whenever she can, plans to move to Germany in a couple of years. Meanwhile, the helpers Manuela, Ramona and Marika also take care of helping out in the ice cream parlor.
Moreno Pascon, sacrifices and satisfactions
Moreno works with love, without reservations. He is indefatigable. His day begins at dawn and ends at midnight. The excellent quality and freshness of his ice creams repay him for the numerous sacrifices, so much so that the first satisfactions are not long in coming. “Punto Gelato” wins the title of best ice cream parlor in the federal state of Baden Württemberg from the point of view of respect for hygiene and health standards, placing itself in first place among the 356 companies participating in the competition.
The excellent result is decreed by a jury of doctors, 61 out of 76, who carry out the necessary checks on the cleanliness of the premises and the tools used by Moreno and his staff. It is a great recognition, which comes in a period of epidemiological emergency. The jury’s attention is also captured by the goodness of its products, in particular the strawberry flavored ice cream, decorated with balsamic vinegar. Already last year, at the International Artisan Ice Cream Exhibition in Longarone, Moreno had won an award, the one for the best showcase and, once again, for hygiene.
Moreno Pascon, the secrets of success
Moreno focuses entirely on fresh and “natural” ice cream, thus managing to attract around 400 people a day to his restaurant. A large number of customers, who can order directly from their mobile phone, while remaining comfortably seated at the table, thanks to an application created by his son Davide. But if Moreno’s ice creams are the pride of the place, customers of different nationalities also flock to it on Friday evenings, for the “spritz hour”, or simply in the morning for breakfast or to taste the excellent sandwiches stuffed with products of Italian origin.
In short, “Punto Gelato” becomes, in a very short time, one of the most popular places in the city. Moreno talks about his story with a happy ending and the goals achieved in this interview, which is intended to be a message of hope, especially for those who are now living the dramatic experience he lived eight years ago.
Moreno, what prompted you to go to Germany?
In 2012, at 46, I lost my job because my employer now considered me old. After the period of unemployment, with a mortgage to pay and a family to manage, on 24 February 2014, in agreement with my wife and children, I decided to leave for Germany. I thank Sandro and Ferdinanda Pancera, who gave me the opportunity to work for six years in Bocholt, North Rhine-Westphalia. There my first satisfactions began, because, annually, I won the prize for the best decorations in the window.
Why did you think about opening an ice-cream shop?
When I left I already had in mind to do it. I told my children that I was going to Germany with the hope of one day opening our own ice cream parlor. In 2016, my son Davide, who was in charge of a company in Italy, left his job to follow me. Alex arrived the following year and started working first in Austria. Today, all three of us are a team.
What is special about your ice creams?
My ice creams are artisanal. I prepare them every morning, with natural products, seasonal fruit and fresh milk. This is our winning weapon. I am happy because, after so many sacrifices, many satisfactions are coming and I cannot forget the Iceberg company of His William and Delys Battiston, specialized in products for the world of ice cream, which allowed me to reach these important goals.
Of all your ice creams, which one do you prefer?
I don’t have a favorite, but the one that gives me the most satisfaction is the pistachio ice cream. The pasta comes pure from Bronte (Catania, Sicily). To decorate it, I choose chocolate, caramel or balsamic vinegar. It is by far the ice cream that has so far aroused the curiosity of customers, who like it so much.
What do you feel like recommending to those who have lost their jobs and are no longer thirty?
Those who lose their jobs at my age or even over 50 find themselves experiencing a very difficult period, because in Italy, unfortunately, the chances of reintegration are few or nil. Leaving is not easy, and neither is learning a new language, such as German, probably one of the most difficult in the world. It takes courage and a lot of good will, but in the end, the results always come. Just believe it all the way through.
What characteristics must a good ice cream maker have?
A good ice cream maker must also be good at decorating ice creams and the display case, because ice cream must catch people’s gaze, even before delighting their palate. A good ice cream maker must also know how to listen to people’s suggestions. If today I am famous for my ice cream I owe it to the company I worked for, which taught me a lot, offering me a great opportunity.
What else are you planning for the future?
In 2022, together with my children and a colleague of ours, we will open two more ice cream parlors, one in Leipzig and one in Berlin. They will be managed by Davide and Alex. I will stay here in Schramberg. The hope is to be able to do better and better. So far I have believed it and it has gone well. I still want to believe it, along with my family.
(Images from Moreno Pascon Facebook page)