They give up everything and open a restaurant in Ibiza: the story of Paolo and Monica
Open a restaurant in Ibiza
A small corner of Italy in Ibiza. Where is it? But from “Can Nik”, the restaurant that Monica and Paolo, a young couple from Bergamo, has just opened in what is known as the most fashionable of the Balearic Islands. Here the flavors, the culinary tradition and the characteristic ingredients of the Bel Paese meet and blend with the typical Ibizan flavors and dishes. The result is a small treasure of the restaurant to be discovered and tasted. The location is Sant Joan de Labritja, one of the most famous locations located in the north of Ibiza, particularly suitable for those who want to enjoy the beautiful sea and the beauties of the island with a certain tranquility, privileging the landscapes and gastronomic and cultural traditions to the unbridled worldly life. The restaurant, in fact, is surrounded by a large garden where the wild nature of the island dominates. Inside a typical island furniture and a kitchen that promises not to disappoint the most refined and demanding palates.
It was last December when Paolo and Monica, husband and wife in private life and business associates, decided to give up their old life and move to Ibiza, with them their two-year-old son. Not a sudden choice, but a deliberate decision that has matured for some time. “We were just waiting for the right moment,” they tell us. That moment finally arrives and so, after selling their restaurant in Bergamo, suitcases in hand leave Italy for the Balearics. The budget after just a few months is very positive. “Living in contact with nature and the sea, waking up every day with the sun is a beautiful feeling,” says the couple.
Monica, Paolo, when did you decide to move to Ibiza?
“For years we have pondered the idea of going to live at sea, and more precisely on an island. We love Ibiza for 5 years now, so ours was not a sudden choice. Obviously we were waiting for the right moment to be able to transfer. Having a restaurant in Bergamo, it was necessary for us to sell it so as not to find us with a double activity to manage. It took some time to do it because, as we know, in Italy this is not one of the most favorable periods. Once sold the restaurant and waited for our son to be a bit ‘bigger we gave up everything, moving to Ibiza last December. On 31 January, after just a month, we were presented with what became our new restaurant, located in the north of the island, a little further from our canons and the classic beachside restaurant. But it was love at first sight. We leave the restaurant and we are immersed in the green, just a few meters from the beautiful sea of the island. We found everything we wanted: peace, tranquility, work and the possibility, when we are free, to go even for ten minutes on the beach to regenerate the brain and the spirit “.
Can Nik “, the restaurant that Monica and Paolo ibiza
Were you already been to the Balearics? Have you stayed here a period of time before making the decision to move?
“While we waited to sell our restaurant in Bergamo, we often came on the island and at different times of the year, not just in the summer, so to see and realize how it was Ibiza even outside the tourist season, to understand what he could offer us and offer in November, in January, in May. Naturally being a seaside resort in winter it is less crowded, but we have accepted the challenge anyway. In summer Ibiza allows you to always work a thousand, because the island overflows with people, in the winter time to be more peaceful that basically was what we wanted: to change our lives with a non-continuous work and not for 365 days year as in Italy, but with a calmer one that would allow us to live. And Ibiza is an island that allows you to experience both winter and summer.
What was wrong with your life in Italy to the point of pushing you to such a drastic choice?
“For ten years we have had a restaurant in Bergamo, which fortunately has always been good, obviously with the ups and downs of an activity linked to tourism and catering. The greatest difficulty in Italy is certainly linked to the enormous tax burden that does not allow you to work because, unfortunately, on what you earn three quarters go to the state. In northern Italy, the area where we have always lived, there is another problem, and concerns the invasion of the Chinese and their restaurants that offer bargain prices to the detriment of raw materials and ingredients. Because of the crisis we tend to spend less and to prefer restaurants of this type. It is obvious that you can not compete with them, because they offer you the impossible at a very low price. This is definitely another aspect that has very unmotivated. Yes I love lovers of good food, we have always had great respect and attention to the products. And if you want to give your customers the best, you can not do it because the raw materials cost. So, despite our work was fine, we chose to leave. What pleased us the most was the affection of the customers who greeted us with tears and smiles. A gesture for us very important and that made us understand that we have done a good service, have given a working relationship and at the same time family that has always distinguished our catering business “.Take your country, a home, the affections to go towards a new life. Of course, on a wonderful island and with his family, but a choice made at least initially of many unknowns. How were the beginnings and the welcoming of the ibizenco people? «Ibiza is a wonderful island. Living in us, for us who have always dreamed of the sea, is a dream. You wake up in the morning, you see the sea and it’s beautiful. It is a lively island because even in winter it offers many services, unlike other Balearic islands that have different limits. So the beginnings were decidedly positive. We did not have any problems with integration, we can understand Spanish perfectly, and we are slowly learning the language. Contrary to our son who already speaks very well. Even with him there were no problems, living in Santa Eulària, a large city, we found everything. From the first day we were here we looked for a nursery school and after three days he started attending it and was super happy, as it is now. In the morning he wakes up and tells us: “At school with the children”. In short we are very happy “.Ibiza. Where is it? But from “Can Nik”, Was it hard to find a house? “Enough. There are many people who unfortunately rent and sublet in Ibiza at very high prices. Suffice it to say that last year during the storm, the summer season, they even rented the balconies of the houses: 500 euros per month for a mattress placed on the balcony. The owners who rent all year round are not many, because they know that in a few months they can earn what they would otherwise earn in a year and a half. We have succeeded with a lot of patience and a lot of luck. “Tell us about your” Can Nik “. How it is made up and what kind of clientele you ask. «The restaurant is located in the beautiful town of Sant Joan de Labritja. It is not on the beach, so the clientele is much more sought after and selected. We do not aim at large numbers, but at a relaxed environment where you can sit comfortably. It is an old “finca ibizenca” renovated and still with the walls of a time that keep the place cool in summer and warm in winter. The restaurant is surrounded by greenery with 1500 square meters of forest, vegetable garden, flowers and plants, a few meters from the sea and moreover on an island. The decor is typical of ibizenco, very characteristic and with colors that recall the beauty of the Mediterranean. An interior designer, Aladin, has helped us, whose name is already a whole program. He has a special gift: he enters a place, looks at him and succeeds in fulfilling your wishes without even taking measurements or using the tape measure. The result of his work has been surprising and all the customers who enter the restaurant are left speechless. “What kind of cuisine do you offer to your customers?” Our restaurant’s cuisine is typically Mediterranean. There are dishes of Italian pasta and the tradition of our country, with paella and other typical specialties of Ibiza. We wanted to create a union between Italian and Spanish gastronomy, two very similar kitchens for the ingredients and the flavors, but unique in the preparation of the dishes. One of our strengths is the outdoor barbecue that allows us to make grilled meat and fish every day. Our clients are mainly couples and families, people who do not come to Ibiza only for the nightlife, but people who want to enjoy the island, the sea and eat well. At the moment they are Spaniards, French, English and Germans. For the summer, we are certainly waiting for Italians too “. From the bureaucratic point of view, what were the necessary steps you had to face to open your business?” It was all very simple. We are proposed in a managerial, agency that helps you from a fiscal, bureaucratic and business perspective to develop your business, which has advised us the type of company to be opened according to the chosen activity. In our case a SL, corresponding to the Italian Srl. It takes very little time to set it up: a current account is opened, the money is deposited and the account is blocked for about ten days to send the company name to the commercial register that validates the VAT number. After ten days you can safely
Start to work. We were at the accountant on Friday and Monday we were already at the notary to sign. Another advantage of Ibiza is represented by the costs of accountant and notary who are one tenth compared to what we are used to paying in Italy. “In Italy, it is often the red tape and the tax burden that put the brakes on new businesses. How is the situation in Ibiza and the Balearics in general? «For those who decide to open a business are tax breaks for the first few years that allow you to start the business well without the stress of taxes. The disadvantage here concerns the workforce on which there is a very powerful tax burden. In the last years in the archipelago the work has increased a lot, with a consequent increase of the control to oppose the phenomenon of the black labor, and a growth of the sanctions to regularize the job positions. It is right for those who work to be paid, and this is a fundamental principle for us. What has disappointed us most are the claims of many who ask for stratospheric salaries only because they know that at this moment you are the one who needs them. On the island there is a lot of professionalism, but unfortunately there are also many who sell themselves for what they can not do. This is the greatest difficulty for us today “.Ibiza is one of the Balearic Islands that is known above all for entertainment and nightlife, a destination for kids from all over the world. How has your life changed since you live in Ibiza? «Not very much. After all, the Spanish way of life is very similar to the Italian one. Some things are obviously different. In Ibiza, for example, everything is closed on Sundays, so if you want to do your shopping you need to organize on Saturdays. But for the rest we do not miss anything. The weather is fantastic, now it’s practically already summer. Always wake up with the blue sky and the sun puts us the desire to live. For us – accustomed to the greyness of Bergamo – the sun, the clean air, the green is a dream. There is no traffic, the distances are very short, there is no smog and our quality of life has certainly improved. And then Ibiza is much more than the nightlife and the buzz, it’s a little gem really worth discovering. “Are you missing Italy?” Absolutely not. Only the people and the affections we have left ».