André Santos joins Zeelandt Brewery to meet the demand for ZB beer both in Hawke’s Bay and throughout the North Island.
Having previously managed bars in Auckland, he knows what a challenging and competitive marketplace the bar and restaurant scene is. ‘You need to constantly reinvent yourself and the things that you do to keep your customer base interested.” says André. “There is no shortage of new places coming and going on a weekly basis.”
André has seen the recent developments first hand as new establishments open with a big focus on quality food and beverages. “Ponsonby as a destination have gone up consistently over the last two years and still going. Bars are expected to offer quality beer as part of their offering. There’s some major developments in that area. Britomart is also an area on the way up.”
Before moving to New Zealand, André worked in London for Movida bar. Having won best new club in the UK two years running, André is no stranger to listening to what the customer needs. “We had a major focus on cocktails and champagne and delivering a premium table service experience.”
Leaving the fast placed London life behind, André reckons he’s found the perfect work / life balance in Hawke’s Bay. “I’m a fan of nature and enjoy surfing and now I can be closer to that. The Hawke’s Bay landscape, vineyards and scenery while driving around is amazing!”
André originally hails from Curitiba, a city also close to the beach but with an altitude of just over 3000 ft (928m) making it the highest capital state city in Brazil. “Because of the altitude and the proximity to the sea, the weather is very much like Auckland weather; something I don’t miss!”
If you see André’s car, make yourself known. “I like meeting people and talking to new people, if you want to start a conversation come and say hi.”