Passover, or passage. All the “guys” of workshops and trades of passages have experienced more than one fundamental. Claudio Mita, in his early forties, was a cook, he did it in many restaurants on the Riviera and even with stars like San Domenico. So he decided to take his step: get a degree in educational sciences. Today he chairs the social cooperative “Botteghe e Professeri” founded in 2005 by the will of some volunteers from Casa Novella, an association that has existed since 1990 and until 2003 only took care of minors and their families. «In 2003, the social services asked us to start work paths for people with predominantly mental illness, we carried out two training courses and then we introduced these people to local companies. However, out of 22 people, many of us could not locate them because they needed time. In order for them to work and not lose their way, we created a new cooperative”. Luca, Eugenio, Glory… and many others were able to make their transition in this way, committing themselves to a stable job and thus investing in their future. «We think of cooking a little randomly and a little not, because cooking is also caring. I arrived there at that time and before that, for 12 years, he had been a cook in many restaurants on the Romagna Riviera and also in San Domenico. So I had a degree in education and they looked for me from Casa Novella entrusting me with this task. In those years there was a pasta workshop for sale in Faenza, we acquired it and developed the work». Botteghe e Professeri has thus become a laboratory for fresh pasta in Theban, it has started to knead and sell fresh pasta, which is becoming more and more popular.
Territorial social supply chain
“For the production of pasta we have started a supply chain agreement with several farmers and social cooperatives to have all, or almost all, the products we need: eggs, flour, cheeses and vegetables,” explains Mita. It is certainly the first social agricultural chain in Emilia Romagna». The network includes: Ca’ Colonna, Morderti, Molino Pransani, Centrale del latte di Cesena, but the intention is to expand it. Today excellent tortelli and tortellini and pasta of all kinds are produced, three production lines: fresh pasteurized pasta for some large distribution chains in Italy and by Eataly throughout Europe, frozen for the hotel industry and dried, made with local ancestral cereals. In addition, excellent leavened desserts have been made since last Christmas.
New location in the old nightclub
But today the need to expand has come, therefore a new… passage. «We found this place in via Ravegnana that used to be a nightclub, where by the way I used to come when it was called Blues Brothers -Claudio smiles-. There are a thousand square meters of laboratory where from May, when everything is in order, we will move all the pasta production». Today 16 people work in the cooperative, plus five volunteers from Casa Novella who help with packaging and deliveries. “With the pandemic, restaurants closed and no festivals, our billing had been cut in half and this put us in a lot of crisis. We had to reinvent ourselves, we pushed the store (in these pages we talked about it at the beginning of the year when the Parco Vena del gesso products arrived at the store, ndr). We have started home delivery, including Saturday lunch that we deliver from Faenza to Bologna – explains Claudio -. Last summer we started to think about what we could do again and we thought about making panettone, we just weren’t able… So I turned to a historic pastry chef from Faenza and he said it’s ok, I’ll show you. So in November we start. Andrea Masironi, who had twenty years of experience in the sector, came to work with us and we fine-tuned the recipe. Between laughter and jokes we have sold more than four thousand».
Pigeons for Franceschetta
Now it’s Easter and production is focused on the dove. For which an important request has arrived. “The Franceschetta di Modena staff contacted us and were thinking of a delivery that would reflect the quality of Emilia Romagna and its philosophy. Massimo Bottura’s group is involved in several social projects, Tortellante and soup kitchens, they were interested in our project and that’s why they asked us for samples. They liked the product and placed the order.” Pigeons are made in three flavors: classic with candied orange, chocolate, and an original recipe with Trappist beer (the shop also sells products from the monasteries) and raisins. For now, at least a thousand will be produced.