The sandwich boards outside White’s & Co always give us a smile in the morning, and it turns out their baristas are pretty good-humoured too.

 

Josh Sitoh, barista at White’s & Co.

Are you from Auckland? I’m from Vancouver. I came to Auckland to study, and now I’m working full time and am in a pretty serious relationship with a girl.

How do you get to Britomart? I usually drive half-way and then commute by bus from Mt Eden.

What do you enjoy about working here? I like the mix of meeting new people and chatting to people.

What would you say is the White’s specialty? Ultimately we are a yoghurt store, so I think the salted caramel frozen yoghurt. That’s not something that other frozen yoghurt places can do so well, so I do enjoy that.

What about the most popular thing? The Greek yoghurt DIY breakfasts.

Where else do you like to eat around here? I often go to Smart Sushi as it’s right next to us and we say hi to them all the time. I think if I could go anywhere I would go to Ortolana.

What’s your favourite hidden gem in Auckland? Stolen Summer on Lorne St, a little cafe that I would go to to get quality coffee and they’re nice people. They make it even better than I can, so…

What’s your idea of a good time? My idea of a good time would be spending time with people are cool, that you can trust and be real with.

Where do you meet those kinds of people? Mostly at Life Church. I met my girlfriend there. She’s that kind of person I can just be myself with.

What’s one thing that not many people know about you? I like to do street photography. And I think my Instagram game is pretty good, but the people around me don’t really follow me so… [If you want to follow Josh, he’s @josh.sitoh]

Do you have any secret nicknames for customers or coworkers?  We usually call them by their orders, so you can identify them like ‘the banana shake lady’ or ‘the grungy Keep Cup lady,’ cos she’s got a real tattered Keep Cup. Or the ‘large latte three sugar dude.’

Have you ever done something heroic? I think everyone has a different definition of heroic. I think maybe the heroic thing is being there for people when they really need it. You never know what’s going on in someone else’s life and even just answering a text or giving someone a call, I think that’s pretty heroic in its own way. I go to counselling for my own mental health and I think being the best version of you is actually pretty heroic, because I don’t think people really like to face themselves and see their flaws and to be able to be in a safe space and grow up in that.

Interview and photograph by Florence Noble