Couple finds opportunities in Shusawp with technology and pastries

Shuswap Immigrant Service Society welcomes Hillary Paganessi and Simone Bardella

The Shuswap Immigrant Services Society, located at 371 Hudson St. NE, would like to introduce some of our recent immigrants to the people of Salmon Arm in the hope all residents will join us in extending a welcome to the newest members of our community. Our organization is a non-profit, non-governmental society with a mission to foster a culture of education, tolerance and community that assists and empowers immigrants of the Shuswap region of British Columbia in the integration and settlement of life in Canada.

New to our town are Hillary Paganessi and Simone Bardella.

You will not want to miss a sample of Hillary’s delicious macarons. She is a pastry chef from Italy and has moved to Salmon Arm with Simone, a software engineer who works for Technology Brewing, a local robotics company.

Hillary was born in a beautiful small Italian town in Northern Italy called Polcenigo. After moving to Trieste in 2016, she took a break from her previous work in an office to volunteer as an ISL teacher (that would be Italian as a Second Language) for Afghani and Pakistani immigrants.

When Simone became disenchanted with his job , they decided to do some travelling and planned a bike trip from Trieste to Istanbul , through Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro and Albania along the Adriatic coast.

Hillary had to cut short her trip to attend her culinary education course, graduating as a pastry chef. Instead, Simone successfully reached Istanbul.

Read more: Welcome Shuswap: A neighbour from South Africa

Read more: Welcome Shuswap: A neighbour from Australia

Read more: Welcome Shuswap: Romance leads Polish woman to Canada

Four days after the end of the course, Hillary and Simone left for Vancouver. They already had plans in place for a working visa.

Simone had studied English, but had not had much opportunity to practise it, while Hillary had no English at all.

Within two days of arriving in Vancouver, Hillary had a job at a French patisserie. Her interview consisted of her pictures on Instagram. There was not much opportunity to practise English at work though.

With their visa coming close to expiring, the couple looked for a sponsor to stay longer. With another visa, Simone found work with Technology Brewing.

They fell in love with Salmon Arm. after arriving in August 2018, just in time for the Roots & Blues Festival.

Hillary is currently employed at The Shuswap Pie Company, is busy studying English at OCBC and has joined the conversation circle meeting offered by Shuswap Immigrant Services Society.

She is a member of the World Women’s Group who meet regularly. Members range from local Canadians to those from Usbekistan, Syria, Vietnam, the Central African Republic and more.

Hillary has plans, hoping to grow her business of making macarons, with a view to supplying them to the public for sale.

You can sample her macarons at the Multicultural Festival on June 27 at Ross Street Plaza.

She produces many flavours of the double-layered macaron, including coconut, blueberry, raspberry, coffee, caramel and chocolate.

Hillary calls her enterprise Cioccolato Mio.

Hillary and Simone experienced cross-country skiing last winter which they very much enjoyed and are looking forward to the summer season and to getting to know the lake.

They now have a van, which Simone is outfitting with a bed for travel.

When they arrived here they had no car and no driver’s licences, only bikes for travel to and from work. They are really going to enjoy exploring the province this year.

You can see Hillary’s creations on Instagram at hillarypaganessi, and on Facebook at cioccolatomio.

If you see her macarons don’t miss the opportunity to taste them and buy a delicious little box of them for yourself or as a gift.

Submitted by Shuswap Immigrant Services Society

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Penticton woman to ‘load up the cart’ with toys for local hospital

Pascale-Ann Demers launched a GoFundMe to upgrade the toy supply at Penticton Regional Hospital

Cannery Brewing’s patio expansion plans delayed by COVID-19

Once open, the new patio will look quite different than originally planned

Playgrounds to reopen across the Okanagan on June 1

After nearly two months closure, playgrounds are set to reopen

Long-time South Okanagan principal retires, another takes the helm

Jeff Redden will start as principal of Naramata Elementary School in August

100 miles in 24 hours: a B.C. man’s mission to support the less fortunate

Merritt’s Darius Sam felt he needed to help his community after an encounter with a struggling woman

Mission prison COVID-19 outbreak ends, 9 new cases in B.C.

New positive test at Port Coquitlam care home

VIDEO: Humpback whales put on quite a show

The ‘playful’ pod lingered by a Campbell River tour operator’s boat for quite some time

RCMP request public’s help in locating missing Salmon Arm man

Ken Derkach is a familiar face to many, one of the city’s residents who is without a home

Booze on Kelowna beaches? Mayor says ‘not at the moment’

Mayor Colin Basran says alcohol in public spaces is not on council’s radar right now — but that could change

Getting hitched at historic B.C. gold rush town still on table during COVID-19 pandemic

Micro-weddings, online visits, offered at Barkerville Historic Town and Park

VIDEO: Police look for suspect seen tripping elderly woman in Burnaby

The elderly woman was walking near the SkyTrain station when she was randomly tripped

Drunk man on a dirt bike and prohibited drivers without insurance keep Shuswap RCMP busy

Other calls resulted in excessive speed tickets and the arrests of two prohibited drivers

Summerland amends procedure for virtual council meetings, adding transparency

During COVID-19 pandemic, meetings have been held using online technology

Motor trike crashes into hole in Kelowna

A man was taken to hospital after crashing his trike on Anderson Road

Most Read