Quality, inclusion and digital tools: the three ingredients behind the success of the Ibris pizzeria in Trento
Ibrahim opens a successful business in Trento and hires 5 people in 3 years, with the help of free of cost Google tools.
The best slice of pizza in Trentino? You can find it at Ibrahim Songne’s “Ibris” pizzeria in Trento. It’s a small place that’s just around the corner from the very central Piazza Duomo and it’s all about hard work, determination and lots of dedication.
Ibrahim arrived in Italy from Burkina Faso when he was just a child. After finishing his studies, he tried his hand at a variety of jobs before focusing on dough-based products: focaccia, farinata, and pizza of course (with a menu of ever-changing combinations). “I worked in a cake shop for a while and this is where I realized that I really wanted to work with pizza dough, so I started learning about doughmaking and flour to find the right recipe for me”.
This took a lot of time and lots of travelling: “Three years of courses, testing and tastings around Italy”. Then, on 11 August 2018, the opening that he had waited so long for. “I wanted a pizza that would be good but light, and made with locally-sourced ingredients whenever possible, to offer a true quality product”. This is what earned him a place in the ranking of the “50 Top Pizzas” from among the best Italian pizza eateries. “I felt really honored and this also helped my business take off. Our customers are aficionados, some even come from outside Trento for my pizza. It’s been three years and after starting out on my own, I now have a team of 5 people”.
But it wasn’t easy. At least, at the beginning. “With all the paperwork and the financial investments, t4here were several problems to face. The lockdown also hit me really hard. But the hardest thing was definitely overcoming the prejudice of people”. Ibrahim knows intolerance and racism well: “I’ve experienced these many times, ever since I was a kid. When I opened my pizza place, a lot of people said: ‘Don’t do it, it’s impossible, who would ever go to a place where their national dish is made by someone who isn’t Italian?’”. Unfortunately, they were right. “It was tough at first, I didn’t have many customers”. Then, little by little, the word spread thanks to its place in the ranking of the “50 Top Pizzas”, and with all the positive reviews on his Google Business Profile, Ibris became a name in town.
Digital tools are now a must-have for Ibrahim: “I always update my Business Profile on Google with photos and new products. In fact, every week I create a new pizza and publish a post to advertise it. The response has been incredible, I’ve estimated that I sell up to 7% more after each new post on my Google profile”. The LGBTQ+ flag is also clearly displayed on his website. “I believe in diversity and respecting others, I wanted this to be clearly displayed in my pizzeria".