“We believe in the place, and we bet that this will happen,” says Nadia Dono, the gastronomic entrepreneur who has just opened Pretto Parrilla in the North Market.
Together with her husband Claudio Gigena as an investment partner, and in the midst of a pandemic, Dono opened the doors of an original “bar grill” that joins the coffee (Pretto Bar) that she has had on the market for three years.
The couple had been working on the project since January, and despite the difficulties facing the sector these days (for example, the market works with reduced hours from 7 to 17 and limited capacity), they decided to go ahead.
“We bought the stand on January 15 and on the 31st we had the project (prepared by Studio Petra) approved by the Market. We started the work quickly because there was an old pizzeria in the place and we changed absolutely everything, ”says Nadia.
The quarantine forced them to pause the works, which were resumed when the COE enabled private works in the city. The couple invested around 1.5 million pesos in riding instead. They did not take credits, they used savings.
“It was never in our minds to sell it or not to open it, despite all this context. It was key in that to have the full support of the Market, which even gave us a few months of grace for the payment of expenses. They always urged us to resist because this is going to happen ”, explains the entrepreneur (photo below).
The other key factor was the staff: “The employees endured us with payment terms these months and they collaborated a lot. They are five workers, for three we got the help of the ATP ”.
Those Pretto Café staff are now distributed between that location and the new grill. “Openness allows us to sustain jobs. Today we have margin because the Market works fewer hours. When the situation returns to normal, we will have to incorporate people, “he said.
In addition to the hours, the capacity limitations imposed on all gastronomy in the city operate on the site. In the case of the new grill, that meant opening without being able to use the bar for now: a novel space where customers can eat cuts in interaction with the grill.
While the protocols govern, consumers can sit at the tables set up inside the Market and on the sidewalk, where pergolas were added.
From wench to owner
The relationship between Nadia and gastronomy began 18 years ago, when she trained at the Celia cooking school.
“Then I traveled and worked a lot as an employee: a girl, a manager, a cook. In the North Market, I did that job in a bar until, with my husband, I bought the position to put my first store on who my boss was, “she recalls.
Regarding the current situation in the Market, the entrepreneur points out: “People gradually lose their fear, although circulation throughout the area is far below normal. I was thinking about that the other day, very worried, but my husband reminded me of what Café Pretto was in the first months of opening: nobody came, and then the customers came. Little by little, luckily, today they are returning. ”