Interview and photograph by Florence Noble
Angelo and his wife – and sometimes their kids – sell New Zealand-fresh exotic nuts at the Saturday morning La Cigale produce market at Britomart
Are you from Auckland?
Yes I’m from Auckland. But I was born in the Philippines.
What do you do here?
I sell New Zealand-grown nuts, some imported nuts and nut butters. The walnuts come from Hawkes Bay, the macadamias come from Kaipara and the Brazil nuts are from Canterbury.
Are you part of the growing process?
We don’t grow them but we roast them and we crack the walnuts and hazelnuts. The macadamias are very hard shell and it’s very difficult to crack them and get full macadamia nuts, so we buy them cracked direct from the farmers.
How did you get into nuts?
It’s really my wife’s idea, it’s her business, she sees a lot of potential in selling nuts. So she started it and at the beginning I was really against it, we don’t know anything about running a business and markets, and all my life I’ve been working front of a computer in IT, but she pushed through with it, she got the business and I have to help her, so I’m here now helping her.
But it’s a good experience to be honest. It’s very different from corporate work, working with a computer. Here you get to interact with people. And I’m still learning to do that. Now I read more about nuts, understanding how they’re grown, how to prepare them, trying to look for recipes as well. Becoming more interested in it. We’ve had this business for six months.
What’s your idea of fun?
Having time with my kids. I’ve got two boys. One of them usually comes to the markets with me, but today he wanted to sleep in. Every Saturday you’ll see me here with him.
What are you doing for Father’s Day?
My son makes cards and I’ll relax at home and do nothing. That’s Father’s Day for us.
Do you think local markets are the future?
I guess, yes, they could be. A lot of people now buy online, but there’s no human connection in that. Some of the people have a lot of regulars, and they go to the market for the local ingredients, and they want to interact with people. They want to talk. We have regulars who always come.
Whats your favourite thing to spend money on?
Where’s your favourite place to eat in Auckland?
I work in Takapuna and there’s a good Chinese restaurant there called Basu Lounge. It’s really nice place. I always go there. And I miss good Filipino food so I always go to try find it. We have one place in Onehunga.
What do you like to snack on at the markets?
I always got to Bacon Brothers. My son loves this. We always get something from there and French Sausages.
Do you have any hobbies?
I like reading. At the moment I’m learning programming to create websites. I’m trying to build a website for this business!