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  • Amy Lambert, Executive Director

Gather Up! It's time for Pizze!

Tim Cottingim has been firing up ideas for an authentic neopolitana pizza restaurant ever since he first tasted one. His new restaurant, Iniga Pizzeria Napoletana, is the first of its kind in the area. Mixing music, art, and pizza, Iniga offers an experience that sets your senses afire. And it should! Iniga is the Italian word for Fiery!

Tim began working with the Illinois SBDC at the Starved Rock County Alliance in March of 2018. Tim’s vision was to bring a high-end experience to the region that introduced “Pizze” – Italy’s staple food for gathering people together. “In the United States, when we gather, it’s around drinking..” Tim says, “but in Italy, it’s around pizza.”

To bring the very best quality and authenticity to his restaurant, Tim traveled the world. He trained in Los Angeles to learn the traditions, tricks, and best practices of the Acunto Mario wood-fired oven. His next goal is to pursue Iniga’s official certification from Associazione Vera Pizza Napoletana based in Naples, Italy.

Iniga differentiates from other pizza restaurants by focusing on the ingredients and methods used by traditional Napoletana pizza makers – simple and fresh ingredients: a basic dough, raw tomatoes, fresh mozzarella cheese, fresh basil, and olive oil. In-house, Tim makes burrata and mozzarella, zabaglione, panna cotta, and affogato. Charcuterie boards filled with cheese, meats, olives, and local honey open the meal.

After a few soft opens to perfect the internal flow and service, Iniga officially opened on September 25th and has grown to over 1700 likes.

“If I had not found the SBDC, specifically Amy Lambert, I am not sure that Iniga may have come to fruition.” Tim shared. “They helped me through insurance, marketing and branding, and understanding all of the steps to secure my licenses and certifications.”

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