Get to know: Amore

1 maart 2018

She’s a student in cultural sciences, he makes pizzas. Tea Pajazetovic and Matteo Martelli got to know each other in the Maastricht pizzeria where Matteo worked. They love each other, and they love artisan baked goods. Which is why there was only one choice for the name of their newly opened panetteria and shop in Maastricht: Amore.

Tea Pajazetovic and Matteo Martelli

Tea Pajazetovic and Matteo Martelli

Matteo had already been kicking around the idea of starting his own business for a while. But after they went for a visit to his hometown of San Salvo in Italy, Tea and Matteo just knew: they wanted to open an authentic Italian bakery, a real panetteria, and sell artisan baked goods, just like in Italy: pizza by the slice, stuffed focaccias, sweet calzone and breads. With a shop, where they could sell their favourite products like vegetable seeds, Italian cheeses and salumi. The core values of their business – dedication to the craft, the ingredients, nature and the environment, and people – were clear from the very beginning. That part was easy. Much more problematic was figuring out all the rules. ‘Getting started was harder than we thought,’ Tea explains. ‘A lot of things went wrong, like the Chamber of Commerce classified us as a pizzeria, which falls under the restaurant laws. But what we are is a store. When I thought things couldn’t get any worse, I went to the municipality’s Business Contact Point. In hindsight I should have done that much earlier, because BCP was right there for us and helped us so much. For example, we didn’t know that we needed an environmental permit for our oven, or what rules our street advertising had to conform to. It’s really such a relief to know that I can always go to the BCP with any question.’

The two young entrepreneurs are happy now that their shop is open. ‘Next, we’re going to start changing our selection a little bit, depending on demand,’ Tea explains. ‘We also want to start working with spelt flour, oat flour, and whole wheat flour. And we’d like to start making the Nutella filling for our sweet calzones ourselves.’ But all that comes later; first, they need to see how things go. Now that Tea has experience, does she have any tips for other first-time entrepreneurs? ‘Absolutely. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, and start talking to the municipality early. And when you hit some setbacks, and you will, stay calm and keep sight of your goals.’