L’Officina del Cioccolato

L’Officina del Cioccolato is a chocolate shop in Noto which produces a variety of chocolate products, ranging all the way from small chocolate candies to specially formed birthday cakes, all made out of chocolate. The concept was born from the idea of a couple who turned their passion into a real job.

Unique idea, only chocolate shop in Noto.

Homemade products gives a niche advantage.

Centrally positioned.

Good education in the subject.

They are good enough to make products for special events, i.e Christmas, birthday cakes, Easter etc.

They have ads on tripadvisor, instagram and facebook.

If tourism goes good the sales of products will increase aswell. 50/50

There is only two workers hence giving more work/person.

Small shop.

Their product sales is quite dependant of the tourism.

Available option to expand, e.g to other cities.

Expand advertisements, create website(s).

Chocolate deliveries (from shop to home).

Hire more employees.

Possibly a reduction in customers if the tourism goes bad 50/50

If chocolate runs out worldwide the production will end.

If another chocolate shop is opened, the unique “idea” will be rivalised


Costanzo is a bar in the center of Noto. This confectionary was founded in 1962 by Corrado Costanzo, the father of the current owner. It is also a meeting point for young people. They produce martorana fruit, dry biscuits, almond pastries, granite and ice-creams. Their best advertising is word of mouth.


  • Costanzo is well known both in Italy and abroad.
  • Opened on internet, Facebook etc.
  • Many families are going to Costanzo
  • They have many specialities.
  • They have been in the business for a longer time, that makes that they have much experiences.
  • The ice cream makes the bar special
  • They have things for all ages
  • they have a lot of tourists from spring to autumn but especially in the summer.
  1. weaknesses
  • way too long word
  • too little area
  • no parking area
  • members of the staff don’t speak any other languages than their own.
  1. opportunities
  • make the company bigger, like open one more bar at a different place.
  • reduce product prices
  • could produce different kinds of products (new products)
  1. threats
  • there are many bars very close to Costanzo.
  • many competitors around and close to the bar.
  • same products as the other bars.

Gagliardi Boutique Hotel

Gagliardi Boutique Hotel is a noble place in the centre of Noto. The special thing about the hotel is that you can buy objects spread all over the hotel. It’s an expensive hotel, as the prices are between 170 Euros and 370 Euros. It opened in spring 2016.

S.W.O.T.  Analysis of ” Gagliardi Boutique Hotel”:


  • good location
  • new idea
  • extra income because of selling things
  • magnificent view of Noto
  • different interior design
  • garden
  • different prices for different seasons
  • website in 3 different languages


  • expensive
  • no restaurant
  • not many rooms
  • closed in winter
  • you need to be careful because of the many expensive things around
  • lack of parking
  • not much experience


  • open another hotel
  • sell more things in the hotel
  • extension of the garden
  • get better known / more public attention
  • have a restaurant
  • improvement of advertisement


  • business rivals
  • no market for the items
  • similar buisness in the town near Noto

La Manna

La Manna is an Italian restaurant in the central part of Noto, serving traditional Sicilian food. It is supported by many important personalities. Many customers of »La Manna« are tourists.



  • A luxury B&B in the same building draws attention of its visitors to the restaurant
  • Sicily, especially Noto, is a famous tourist attraction and that brings a lot of customers
  • it is located very central in Noto
  • they serve a lot of different types of food
  • Italian food is good in general and the restaurant is in the following very attracting
  • the chef is an expert
  • modern in general
  • nice atmosphere in the restaurant due to modern design
  • many people invest in the restaurant
  • many important people believe in the restaurant
  • good reviews of customers on its website


  • success depends on the seasons
  • lack of parking spaces
  • a lot of competition in central Noto
  • the service is not that good
  • success depends on tourism
  • it is quite expensive
  • the time that it is open is very limited


  • expansion of the restaurant
  • improvement of the service
  • getting good opinions from customers
  • founding of another restaurant


  • less customers in winter because of decreasing tourism
  • a lot of competition in central Noto
  • many newly founded restaurants, also in the future
  • depends on many investors

Caristia Artistic Pottery

Caristia is a little pottery shop in the town centre of Noto, selling pottery. Sebastiano Caristia is the owner and his business in named after him. He likes making owls of different sizes.

  1. Strengths:

-it’s located in center of Noto;

-it attracts more tourists than other businesses;

-the owner only needs red clay and an oven to do his job;

-his pottery objects are original;

-small building – low taxes;

-he can sell products in any period of the year.

  1. Weaknesses:

-it takes two weeks to make one figure;

-high taxes if you want to expand;

-small shop display window, so tourists can’t see it;

-lack of parking places;

-the owner doesn’t have a website.

  1. Opportunities:

-give lessons (teach others how to do his job and get new employees);

-Facebook helps him to attract tourists, inhabitants;

-he can open second shop.

  1. Threats:

-fewer tourists – less work – less money;

-higher taxes in future.

The multi supermarkets in Leer


The supermarket business “multi” in Leer was founded in 1970. The founder, Mr Hero Brahms, had taken over his parents’ grocery store, where customers still bought merchandise from the counter, and assistants handed out the items to them. When a wholesaler left its premises, Mr Brahms acquired these 1,500 m2 and made it the first multi supermarket. Looking for a suitable name, all family, friends, and employees available had a brainstorming session on it and decided on “multi”, a Latin word meaning “much” or “many”, already hinting at the vast number of articles they would have to offer.

At that time, multi had 34 employees and offered about 8,000 to 10,000 articles. It was an overnight sensation. On the first day at 8:30 am half an hour after the shop opened it was full of people. The reason for that was probably the fact that Multi was the first consumer market in the region. For the customers it was a totally new experience to walk through the aisles of a supermarket and take the products themselves from the shelves, obviously enjoying this very much.

20161103-multi-sud-museum-mit-herrn-brahms-sr-1Mr Hero Brahms in the museum at multi Süd, which renders the style and atmosphere of his former grocery store.

Two years later, a second market, multi Süd (south), was opened in the south of Leer because of the big success of the first, and much later, in 2008, the third multi market opened in Emden, a town 34 km north-west of Leer. This was not planned and only happened because of a good offer by EDEKA, the largest supermarket corporation in Germany.

Today there are still two multi supermarkets in Leer. While multi Nord (north), located opposite the site of multi’s foundation, is relatively small and compact and for this reason more attractive to many customers, multi Süd (in the meantime taken over by Hero Brahms’ son, Matthias) is growing bigger and bigger and is frequently renovated and modernised. The last reconstruction cost a few million euros. Now it is more like a shopping mall with the whole area of multi Süd featuring 47 other retailers and restaurants. The area of all three multi markets together is approximately 14,600 m2. multi Süd’s car park offers 1,000 spaces. However, multi is the last large-scale family-owned consumer market in Germany.

20161103-multi-sud-modell-11:87 scale model of multi Süd

20161103-multi-sud-modell-3View of the southern entrance

multi gets its merchandise through three different pathways: many products are supplied by EDEKA, by producers like Bahlsen (the most famous German cookie producer), and by direct suppliers. Altogether, multi Süd is supplied by 350 different companies.

The main supermarket has a range of more than 50,000 different products, which are selected based on the consumers’ demands. This e.g. means customers can choose from 70 different frozen pizzas. Every week about 5 tonnes of meat and cheese are sold and they have approximately 2,000 glasses of nutella in store. Yet the products most sold are East Frisian tea and “Kluntje” (rock candies traditionally put in tea).
Traditional East Frisian tea

Bruno Gelato ice cream products have been on offer since 1998 as an example of close cooperation between local companies. Each day about 55,000 items are sold in multi Süd, with 150 people employed currently; this number is still increasing.

When employing people, their personality counts more than their certificates. This is because Mr Brahms’ philosophy is based on the assumption that the atmosphere in a business and the mood among the employees warrants the success of the company. Consequently, Mr Brahms’ relationship with his staff is based on trust and friendliness. He knows all his employees personally and supports them in their professional activities. It is no surprise that multi staff have a reputation for being cheerful and helpful.

Apparently, this results in greater honesty among multi customers. Annual stocktaking shows that only 0.5% of the merchandise is stolen, which is very low compared to other retailers’ figures.

Checkout tills

Yet Mr Brahms jun. also believes that there must be progress, otherwise a standstill will soon result in a setback. So he regularly comes up with new ideas for his market, for example he recently introduced pick-up-points, and he also plans to establish an online-market. Plans to modernize the toy section have been in the pipeline for long, but have not been realised so far because other activities have seemed more important,

He also wants to improve the feelgood factor for his customers so that the atmosphere at multi is turning more and more into an event character. With all these new ideas, multi never stops developing, and as a result, Mr Brahms always has something to do. Yet he sees this as a bliss and a curse: on the one hand, it is very exhausting. But on the other hand, you also stay fit and do not age that quickly. Mr Brahms rarely travels businesswise and works approximately 50 to 60 hours per week, with even longer hours e.g. when the shopping areas are renovated.

Although the markets are very successful, another multi branch is not being planned. Its economic success would be questionable, and the market would no longer be a regional one. The aspect of regional products is crucial for the multi philosophy in that they can react more readily to the customers’ wishes for regional specialities.

Beyond this, the Brahms family do not want their current life to change because of business expansion. Right now, it seems as if they have found the right balance between economic success and time for themselves. The involvement of the whole family is seen essential for the smooth running of the company, and the current size and popularity in turn influences the daily routine and family life greatly. So members of the Brahms family work in all multi markets and are involved in all organisation steps, such as advertisement, public relation, and development of the markets.

Admittedly, it is not always pleasant to be identified with the business, but apart from that everything else seems to be quite positive for Mr Brahms. They also support local charities and social institutions, e.g. they support the Kinderschutzbund Leer (child protection organisation) and the Leeraner Tafel, an organisation that sells food to people in need cheaper by giving them food close to the best-before date.

For future business people, both Mr Brahms sen. and jun. recommend to be reliable and predictable and to be ready to wait for the right moment in life. Success cannot be planned, but opportunities will occur, for which young entrepreneurs must be open. The development of the multi markets shows that businesses grow gradually and have to adapt to the market situation. Mr Brahms jun. gave the example of two businesses in the multi Süd mall opened side by side, with the advantage of different hours of customer activities. So, one sale assistant is now able to serve both shops simultaneously and thus providing a synergy effect.

Although most steps in multi’s development have been successful, setbacks have taken place. One example is the failure of moving into another shopping mall in the north of Leer, which was offered by competitors who owned the mall. It did not catch on and suffered severe losses, from which the Brahms family learnt a lot on the way to the current state. This means that openness, patience, and visions for the future are crucial for business people.

This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

Business in Suchy Las and its surroundings

Geographical position of the town and its hinterland

Suchy Las as a village which was totally destroyed in the 17th century. It was founded again in the 19th century by German settlers. A community is located in the province of Wielkopolska. The seat of the community is the village of Suchy Las which is in close neighbourhood to Poznań. There are 8 biggest villages. The most important are: Suchy Las, Biedrusko, Złotniki, Chludowo. The area of the community is 116.55 km². About 16,000 people live in the community of Suchy las, and 6,600 in the village. A military training ground takes up more than 60% of the community area. Polish soldiers train here but not only. Also police officers or soldiers from other countries such as Germany. The largest lake is Lake Glinowieckie. It is located on the training ground. The forests in our community are rich in a variety of trees and plants. Usually they are mixed. Suchy Las has chernozem soils and podzol soils. There is a nature reserve Meteorites Morasko. It has six large craters that have arisen as a result of meteorite impacts about 5 thousand years ago. Suchy Las is located in the temperate climate zone. The annual rainfall is 500 mm. Snow falls are very poorly here. The average annual temperature is 9°C. Suchy Las is one of the best developing communities around Poznań. Retail and industrial trade, services and industrial production are main contributors to the local development. Many leading companies have their seats in Suchy Las, among them Apart (jewellery) or car dealers (e.g. Porsche).

Local and international transport

We have in Poznan one of the oldest airports in Poland, its called Ławica. The old airport was built in 1913. Now Ławica  is quit modern, but small international airport. From Poznan you can fly to almost 30 cites in 15 countries in Europe. There is also the new main railway station in Poznan, commonly called Dworzec Główny. The station is in the city centre, in the vicinity of the bus station, Poznań International Fairs, Poznań University of Economics and Adam Mickiewicz University. It is international, you can go by train from here to Berlin, Minsk and Paris.

Poznań public transport with its network, timetables and tariff is unique in Poland. Trams are the core of the system – most of lines go with a frequency of 10 minutes. Bus lines play a complementary role to the tram network. This solution encourages passengers to change, offering high frequency connections with changes, instead of low frequency direct connections. It also makes the network less extensive and complicated to passengers. Bus and tram lines run daily from 4.30 to 23.00 . At other times communication in bus lines is available and the tram line No. 201 runs to the city center in the direction of Piątkowo. Poznan has an alternative to a metro. It is Poznański Szybki Tramwaj, 8,1 km long line, which is accident-free and arranged in a dig and flyover tram route. The route is crucial for communication in the central and northern parts of the city. Its capacity reaches
6 000 persons per hour. Poznań was the first Polish city which introduced time tickets. You have to buy ticket before getting on board. Tickets are sold in kiosks, shops, supermarkets and ZTM Customer Service Points. Prices are determined by the type of the ticked and tariff zone.

Public Transport Facility in Suchy Las supports 6 fixed communication lines that connect the center of Poznan and its northern districts of towns and municipalities like Biedrusko, Chludowo, Golęczewo, Zielątkowo, Złotkowo, Złotniki, Suchy Las. In these buses you can use the same tickets which are used in Poznan. The Department of Public Transport in Suchy Las has 21 buses to handle communication lines, of which 18 of them are low-floor MANs.

Population – people and their needs

Suchy Las community consists of about 16,000 citizens. 60% of them are in the productive age, which means that they are able to work. The percentage of those unemployed decreases each year. In 2010 12.02% of people in the productive age were jobless. In 2011 that amount reduced to 11.71%.  According to survey’s results,  both accessibility and quality of cultural and sport and recreation offers provided by the borough were rated as good. However, the tourist offers were determined as low. Additionally, the condition of the road infrastructure is a downside of the Suchy Las area. On the other hand, the education is a great asset. The availability and quality of primary and middle schools were rated as very good. Unfortunately, there is a lack of kindergartens. Another advantage of Suchy Las borough is health and social care. Their standard is regarded as fine. Residents think that our borough has to primarily improve the road maintenance and the sewage system.

Suchy Las community has got many things to be proud of. However, a few of them do not meet citizens’ expectations. This is why our borough is still improving, which only means a better and more peaceful life for all of us.

 The structure of employment and the scale of unemployment

Currently about 16000 people live in Suchy Las. The number of unemployed is decreasing from year to year. In December 2013 there was about 1.71% of these people, but in 2014 there was only 1.29% of unemployed. In November 2015  there was 1.31% of them. To conclude more and more inhabitants work in the surrounding companies and in Poznan these days.

To present these statistics in numbers, we can divide them into several categories including: total unemployed people (in this separately women and men) and unemployed people who took up jobs. In the end of 2013 249 people were unemployed, including 126 women and 123 men. Next year the number of these people had decreased to 188 total – 103 women and 85 men. In October 2015 191 people were unemployed – 110 women and 81 men. Statistics of taken jobs during years 2013 – 2015 are quite similar. At the end of 2013 14 people took up jobs, next year 15 people did it and in 2015 11 people took up jobs.

In 2010 in Suchy Las lived 14822 inhabitants – 408 per 1000 people had a job. But two years later with more inhabitants (15614) there were only 405 workers per 1000. In 2013 15971 people lived in Suchy Las – 421 per 1000 of them had a job. In general it’s a very good result – Suchy Las doesn’t have to worry about upcoming future.

The conclusion of this report is that Suchy Las is a well-developed village, which won’t lose its good position among the nearest settlements with low unemployment. The task of the local government is further decreasing the number of unemployed people in our village. Now they bring in new ideas, solutions and amenities.

 Tourist attractions

Near Suchy Las – in Chludowo you can visit a historic larch church from 1736 founded by Cistercian from Owińska, after the fire of an earlier church. In the left chapel there is a picture of Mother of God painted on wood from the sixteenth century  and Missionary-Museum of Ethnography.


In another village in the close vicinity – Biedrusko you can admire a Neo-Renaissance palace  surrounded a picturesque park from the end of the nineteenth century, built by Prussian man. Later he sold it to the German army, because they needed the palace for the officers. After the Second World War the palace was a base of Polish army. Now there is a hotel and a restaurant.


Local sporting, leisure and culture facilities

We are proud of a modern building of Water Park OCTOPUS, which is located in Suchy Las. There are 8 tracks and one small pool for children. In addition to the swimming pool in the same building there is bowling, a restaurant and well-equipped studio and conference hall.  In the vicinity of the Water Park you can find a sports hall of the Municipal Sports Centre, which is suitable for basketball, volleyball, handball and indoor football. The audience  has 320 seats with the possibility to install 180 more. Next to the Primary School in Suchy Las there are some pitches: two for football (6000m2 and 3000m2), where a club Suchary Suchy Las plays their matches, and two for basketball. On the same street as the swimming pool there is one of the biggest and most modern culture center and public library in the region.

Shopping facilities and services

Suchy Las is located near Poznań that is a big city. Lots of people, who live here, work in Poznań.  After their jobs they do their shopping in local shops and are offered a variety of services.

In Suchy las there are a lot of shopping facilities and services. A few years ago there were only several shops and one supermarket but since then shopping facilities have developed a lot. The biggest and the main shopping facility in Suchy Las is a big shopping mall ‘Galeria Sucholeska’. There are many useful shops that provide you with the products you need on daily basis. Apart from that there are also many discounts for example Biedronka, Chata Polska, Lidl. They offer relatively cheap products and have a really big range of them. In our community there are lots of services so there is no need to go to Poznań. Besides buying food we can also buy fashionable clothes, shoes in the shopping mall and other smaller shops.

Suchy Las has also very impressive gastronomic offer. Everyone will find here his or her favourite cuisine eg. Japanese, Italian, Polish etc. The places are also different in terms of the level of services starting with  asmall bistro until luxury restaurants. For students and hurrying people there are also some food tracks with chicken or hamburgers.

If anyone in Suchy Las wants to benefit from the basic medical care and pharmacy can go to some chemist’s shops and medical centers.

Living in Suchy Las is really pleasant, because there are a lot of improvements also in respect of cultural services. Citizens can rest going to theatre and summer cinema. Many people from Poznań want to move to our community because of comfort of living and beautiful surroundings.

 Local offices and institutions supporting small business

Let’s try to be an  entrepreneur! Have you ever thought about starting a business? It is a hard way with registering and running a business. But don’t worry there are a lot  of people and institutions that offer  help.

I will go step by step. First of all you need to have a creative and original idea. Then try to find a place where you want to start. Name your business. These are the basics. In every country you need to register your business, otherwise it is illegal. In every town hall or your city’s website you can get all information about registration.  In most of the countries you can fill in the entering form online.

Unfortunately everyone has to pay taxes. If you are new you can get tax advice in town halls and on the Internet. For example, in Suchy Las’s Town Hall there is a tax agency that is open on every first Monday of a new month from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. and it is free!

Each business has to be skillfully advertised. There are a lot of companies that offer gifts, gadgets, billboards, exhibitions, marketing events and etc. In Suchy Las we have quite a few of those firms. The best known ones are: PDMG,  IMART and ANB.

If your business needs more money don’t worry, you will get some help from banks. They offer credits for new businesses even if your firm is not big. In Suchy Las we have so many banks that offer that kind of credit. For example Bank PKO, Millennium Bank and Alior Bank.

IT help is also important. Most of companies has their own website, e-mail address and all that online stuff. Company called GCI –IT Solutions  helps with all that stuff that can be hard.

Small offices also help entrepreneurs. In Suchy Las there is a tiny office called Elkard that offers pay and staff advisory.

There are also companies that help with taking subsidies from European Union.  In Suchy las there is one called LARG.

So don’t be afraid to start your own business in the future.

This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.


The third stage: presentation of regional businesses and SWOT-analyses

At Tegelviken we presented some small businesses in the project schools’ regions, which are published in the following links:

Altogether, two businesses will have to be investigated and presented by each school, providing material as to how to found and run a business and being the base for SWOT analyses (for a power point presentation of the elements of  SWOT click here) to develop a sense of prospects of businesses. Further companies to presented in Noto at the third learning and training experience of our Erasmus project are:

SWOT analyses of eight businesses in Noto

At the third learning and training activity in Noto, eight businesses in Noto (click on names for a pptx-presentation on their businesses) have been visited and investigated with regard to their potentials. Below the companies’ names our suggestions for a leaflet to advertise their business can be opened (click on thumbnail image).

Carista Costanzo Gagliardi Libertyno
caristia-1 caristia-2 costanzo-f-1costanzo-f-2 gagliardi-boutique-hotel-e-1gagliardi-boutique-hotel-e-2 libertyno-b-1 libertyno-b-2
Maidda La Manna L’Officina
maidda-h-1 la-manna-group-c-1 la-manna-group-c-2 lofficina-del-cioccolato-g-1 lofficina-del-cioccolato-g-2 tannur-group-d-1

The results can be downloaded here:
Caristia Artistic Pottery (download docx-file)
Libertyno – a speciality restaurant (download pptx-file)
La Manna – an Italian restaurant (download docx-file)
Tannur – a Sicilian restaurant (download docx-file)
Gagliardi Boutique Hotel (download docx-file)
Costanzo – a confectionary bar (download docx-file)
L’Officina del Cioccolato – a chocolaterie (download docx-file)
Maidda – a bakery (download pptx-file)

In addition to the SWOT anayses, we were informed about registring a business in Italy. The steps to take are briefly summarised in a pptx-presentation. The process for the permission of businesses is described in the presentation of SUAP, an agency provided by the municipality to unify the process of permits for the construction or start-up activities of the production of goods and offering services.

All these publications reflect the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.