Interview and photo by Florence Noble.

An architecture student during the week, on Saturdays, Vivek Gajanand can be found blending spray-free juices and smoothies at the La Cigale market at Britomart.

Are you from Auckland?

Yep, Sandringham.

What do you do here?

I cut fruits, make smoothies, I talk to customers, and sometimes I run the juicer.

Where do you get the fruit and veggies from?

My boss gets them from different farmer’s markets. There’s one in Sandringham. They’re spray free. Even our cups aren’t real plastic. They’re eco friendly. My boss is really green.

How did you get into it?

I had a friend from Uni who worked at the market. It’s an opportunity to do something different from what I’m studying. I study architecture. 

Is that what you want to do?

Yes, I’m doing my Masters right now and I want to become a registered architect. That’s been a lifelong dream.

What would you most like to design?

In the long run, high-rise buildings. I like the Ferry Building on Quay St. Even where I live in Sandringham, there are some really old buildings that have kept their architectural integrity. So even when one is renovated, not much is done to the outside of the building. 

What’s your idea of fun?

I think cruising around with friends and family. I love the beach. I’m pretty sure salty air is good for you.

Do you think local markets are the future?

I’m not sure if it’s the future, but I think it should be. What I think is it won’t be. I guess it’s easier for people to shop online than come out and be face to face with people. Some people might not enjoy that as much. But if you come out, especially during the summer it’s a great, people are out and about, walking their dogs. I think it’s what life should be. Real human interaction.

Whats your favourite thing to spend money on?

Food. And I enjoy gaming. During the semester I don’t game. I always prioritise my uni work. I only play at night after it’s done.

What games do you play?

Fortnite. It’s playing against a whole lot of real people who fight each other.

Is it scary?

No. It’s fun. It’s really animated so it’s not lifelike like Call of Duty or anything.

What’s your favourite hidden Auckland City eating spot?

I recently went to the Luscious cafe in Onehunga. That’s really good. The mushrooms on toast. I’m a big fan of creamy mushrooms on toast. Can’t get over those. 

It always starts good, but I start to feel sick towards the end with all the cream…

I don’t. I honestly can’t get enough of it. Oh and I buy a lot of mochas too. It’s a great way to start the day.

Is there anywhere at the markets that you always go?

The Scandinavian buns. I get the chocolate one every week. Whenever I go there she gets it as soon as she sees me coming. Sometimes it’s already sitting there ready. She saves me the best one.