Ci Gusta Reggio Emilia has found two extraordinary ambassadors in Mali; Mr. Chadi and his wife. Together the two of them have been running a restaurant for more than four years that has brought the magic of Italian food to the lively city of Bamako. Their successful journey is an example of the strength that the Ci Gusta Reggio Emilia brand has in conquering new markets and adapting to local challenges.
1. A Journey from Senegal to Mali
The story of Mr. Chadi and Mrs. Chahnaze, as franchisees of Ci Gusta in Mali, begins in Senegal. In fact, it was during his return trip from this country that Mr. Chadi first came into contact with the world of Ci Gusta in Dakar. This encounter was a true revelation, as he had been contemplating opening a gelato shop in Bamako – the capital of the Republic of Mali – where at the time there were only a couple of establishments. Subsequently, the experience that ultimately solidified his interest and convinced him to open his Ci Gusta in October 2019 was his visit to another franchise store in Benin. Thus began an exciting entrepreneurial adventure that turned this couple’s dream into a reality.
2. Gradual Steps and Constant Adaptation
Today, anyone entering Mr. Chadi and his wife’s establishment can enjoy a piece of Italy through their delicious gelato and pastries or enjoy an authentic pizza with a variety of toppings. On another note, managing such a diversified range of both sweet and savory products has been a gradual process that required time and dedication.
The couple’s most significant challenge was undoubtedly adapting traditional Italian dishes to local tastes, as the customers were accustomed to very different foods and flavours. To face this challenge, the collaboration between Ci Gusta Reggio Emilia team and the future franchisees proved crucial. In fact, Ci Gusta Reggio Emilia provided essential support through its chefs and experts who actively contributed to the development of a menu, staff training, and the continuous support in adapting recipes to local preferences.
These aspects proved to be indispensable through gradually introducing new flavours and products, ultimately aligning them with tastes that the customers were more familiar with. Fundamentally, this strategic approach – combined with the managers’ extraordinary passion – helped create a unique offering in the Malian market, allowing their shop to significantly stand out in the country’s capital.
3. Quality and Deep Roots in the Community
Ci Gusta Reggio Emilia has thrived in Bamako thanks to two fundamental pillars that have truly made a difference for the local community. Firstly, the quality of its products, especially the gelato, has been an unbeatable strength. The constant innovation and high-quality of Ci Gusta Reggio Emilia’s products have manifested through the tireless commitment of Mr. Chadi and his wife, providing residents with unforgettable gastronomic experiences.
Furthermore, the design of a dedicated children’s area inside the store played a key role in capturing the community’s attention and affection. This space not only made the establishment a reference point for all Italian cuisine lovers but also transformed the entire environment into a welcoming and family-friendly place. In this way, Ci Gusta Mali is not just a gelato shop; it has become a gathering place where the quality of the products and the warm atmosphere come together to create a unique experience that resonates in the heart of the community.
4. The Recipe for Success
Mr. Chadi concludes our conversation with some valuable advice for future franchisees, emphasizing that success, in his opinion, depends not only on providing high-quality products but also on the deep integration into the local community.
Actively participating in local events and understanding the community’s needs is crucial for increasing brand visibility, building trust, and for a sense of belonging. Furthermore, he stresses that remaining flexible, adapting to changing local market needs, being ready to innovate, and maintaining an open mind are the keys to thriving in the long term, as trends, tastes, and customer expectations continuously evolve. To summarize, these combined elements constitute the essential foundation for becoming a successful franchisee in the dynamic and diversified Malian market.