The story of Abbas

How an Afghan refugee turned his passion for pizza into a business

Abbas Khavari is a 35-year-old Afghan entrepreneur founder of Pizza Bobo, a home pizza-making and tasting service. Abbas learned to make pizza in Italy, where he first took shelter after fleeing his home country due to his political activism. During his time in Pisa and Rome, he fell in love with, as he calls it, this delicious ‘combination of oregano and tomatoes’.

Abbas used to organise regularly pizza parties at home for his friends, hence becoming a pizza master. Although he invested time and effort to perfect this art, his work experience didn’t follow a conventional path: “I learned these skills in Italy, even training as a pizzaiolo at a prestigious school. But I must admit something: I’ve never worked in a pizzeria in my whole life.”

When he moved to Paris, in 2017, he noticed three things: people there loved to entertain at home; the average pizza quality was quite far from what he was used to in Italy; and French people loved to experiment with flavours. These three concepts became the basis of his business idea.

Pizza Bobo does house parties as well as corporate events. No matter where the pizza party is, Abbas will come with his own electric oven and prime ingredients – that might even include hummus as a pizza topping.

“For me, pizza is a true passion […] that's why I don't get tired of it. Sometimes I stay up until three or four in the morning with people in their homes. Because I enjoy it.”

Abbas has been supported by SINGA, one of The Human Safety Net’s partners in France. SINGA is an organisation that offers support for refugees in their socio-professional integration through a custom-tailored, step-by-step entrepreneurship programme.