a woman sitting at a table with a plate of food.
Jun 1, 2023

The Power of Partnerships

Partnerships are an essential part of any successful business.

A stronger force comes from combined sources and contacts.

At the Istituto Italiano Scuola we believe that building partnerships is a form of successful education because you can learn from other realities that share the same values and principles. Having a strong community with common goals and working together is important to increase trust and success in your business too. That’s why we interviewed the owner of Sugo, Caterina, to learn about her business and the reasons that led her to interact with our school. 

Caterina has a huge passion for authentic and traditional Italian food. She moved from Italy almost 8 years ago and she decided to open Sugo, a small Italian food business, to sell her tasty lasagna, pasta and much more to all the pasta lovers in the Bay Area. Sugo means “sauce” and she prepares with her team every sauce with care, using only the best ingredients. The dough of her lasagna is rolled out exactly how her mom and grandmothers taught her, respecting the tradition of lasagna served at every family reunion. They sell their food in several farmers’ markets in the Bay Area, but also online through their website and they do caterings for companies and private parties. 


  • When and why did you decide to open Sugo? 

I opened Sugo in June 2018. I have a huge passion for Italian food, I love cooking (and baking) and I wanted to share my food with everyone. 


  • What makes your business unique? 

At Sugo we cook and prepare everything from scratch (even the pasta for lasagna!) using only fresh and natural ingredients. All our foods are made with passion and love. We cook the same way we cook for our families!

  • Why did you choose to sell your products through the Bay Area farmers’ markets? 

We started to sell our products at the farmers’ markets because we love connecting with people, we love the farmers’ markets vibes and it’s very important for us to build a solid relationship with our customers. Farmers’ markets are the best places for this and very soon we found out that they are also great to have immediate feedback from our customers.

  • Can you tell us what are the reasons you linked your business to our school? 

We like being partner to Italian businesses in the Bay Area. We believe that joining our energies, abilities and skills is a great way to create something unique for everyone who is passionate about our beautiful country. 


  • In your opinion, what is the best representation of the Italian culture, art, and values?  

In my opinion, food is one of the best ways to deliver Italian culture and values! Good food is art, culture, lifestyle. Spending time with people around a table full of good food is probably the best way to know each other and build relationships. One of my favorite “weekend activity” is cooking with my best friends and eating together chatting for hours. 


  • Which are the secrets for maintaining a successful business? 

For me, “success” is to do what I like and do it the best way I can. This is my “philosophical” answer, but the real one is to work every day, try new activities, new markets, and new ways to do business and increase sales. And always check the numbers and cut whatever doesn’t bring profit and/or visibility. Customer feedback is always super important and something to pay good attention to. 


  • Tell us one thing our students absolutely need to know about you…

I started to cook when I was about 30 years old, and I never stopped. When I was younger, I didn’t even know how to cook an egg! I believe with passion and love; we can do anything we want.  

"Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success."
Henry Ford