Tony worked in air traffic control and air traffic management for over twenty years. His love for nature and conservation prompted him to apply his ideals and vision into his own business, in which he believes philanthropy comes first and everything else second. Together with his business partner, Pierre Cillie, he opened a restaurant brand that concentrates on whole foods and fresh ingredients. Upon looking for more business opportunities, Tony and Pierre were appalled at the water and energy consumption of commercial laundry facilities in SA. Spurred on by the drought afflicting the Western Cape, they knew that this laundry had to be established in Cape Town. This is where the concept of Green Planet Laundry was born. Every aspect of the business takes the environment into consideration, and in addition to using no municipal water, the complete water filtration system is solar powered. Through nurturing conservation and simple caring, they believe that the cycle of philanthropy is unstoppable!
· What are you most passionate about?
MOST passionate about? My crazy Portuguese wife and equally crazy kids, however, being able to make the difference in someone’s life is what makes me get up in the morning.
· What’s the biggest risk you’ve ever taken?
Leaving the cushy world of Air Traffic Control for the business world. It’s tough out here, however, applying unrivalled respect and unparalleled service to business dealings has proven to be a great recipe for fostering firm business relationships.
· What makes you angry?
Hypocrisy. Stupidity. Possibly in that order.
· If you inherited an acre of land what would you do with it?
Very hard to say, but establishing some sort of business where lots of employment opportunity is generated is what I would do with it.
· Are you more of a hunter or a gatherer?
I think that a well-rounded and dare I say, “modern” individual, should be a bit of both. Wisdom is displayed when one chooses which to apply.
· How many pairs of shoes do you own?
I’m a bit of a girl – more pairs than my wife suffice it to say!
· If we came to your house for dinner, what would you prepare for us?
Oooh. Possibly Pork Belly on Sweet Potato Mash or Portuguese Espetada. Starter is definitely the Peri-Peri Chicken Livers (family recipe) and dessert would be the homemade Portuguese Flan! Or. Boerewors rolls with my special onion and tomato relish!
· How would people communicate in a perfect world?
Face to face while seated on a sofa. IT, for all the good that it’s done for business, has certainly helped in removing a certain human element to business relations. Very few negotiations/disputes cannot be achieved/resolved while sitting on a comfortable sofa – face to face. Add a boerewors roll and anything is possible!
· What do you work toward in your free time?
Free time unfortunately is something that I haven’t enjoyed in a long time. The little “free time” that I do relish I spend playing with my 3 young children. In a perfect world, I’d spend a lot of time on said sofa watching mindless TV. That’d get old in 25 minutes and then I’d probably be off thinking up ways in which to make my staff’s lives a little easier.
· If you woke up and had 300 unread emails and could only answer 30 of them, how would you choose which ones to answer?
1. Emails from Staff.
2. Emails from Clients.
3. Emails from Business Partners.
4. Email from Suppliers.
· Name 3 thing in nature you find most beautiful.
My 3 young kids when they’re playing outside – that counts right? Seriously though – Nature’s ability to recover, Nature’s way of evolving and waves. LOVE watching waves!
· Have you used plastic bags for your shopping in the last two weeks?
Yes I have. The same ones over and over however. In our latest venture – Green Planet Laundry – we cannot help but to use plastic bags for client deliveries etc., however, we only use recycled plastic and encourage our clients to save these bags and to hand them back to our Brand Ambassadors (Drivers) on their next delivery. We in turn deliver them for recycling.
· What would you say are some small steps that people can take to improve their relationship to the environment?
Waste less, think before you act, and enjoy it! Take time to look at our Mountain (e.g.) and to consciously enjoy her beauty.