- What is your favourite word? Shit.
- What’s your least favourite word? Wow, cause my sister would say it is awesome. Awesome is my least favourite word.
- What’s your favourite colour? I like green actually I’m quite a green man.
- What colour or material would be suitable to describe you as a person? I think like a real sexy green. What is a sexy green for you? Sofia tell him what a sexy green is. I reckon a little bit of rough a porky suede.
- What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally? Hm like excited? The Caff, my wife, I love spending time with my family I don’t get so much time, so I’m really looking forward to Sunday off. Hmm what gets me excited Tottenham, smoking. I used to smoke all day but now it’s gotten better with the baby.
- What turns you off? Horrible people, nastiness.
- What is your favourite curse word? Ah no you know what I like saying is cunt. But in a nice way, not in a nasty way.
- What sound or noise do you love? I like the sound of spurs going a gold, the sound of a stadium when there is singing.
- What sound or noise do you hate? Arsenal scoring a goal. How is that sound different? When they score we are really sad.
- What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? What would I have liked to have been apart from working in the caff hmmm. You know I’ve always done this for like 20 years. This is always what I wanted to do. Maybe an engineer or something creative, like helping a machine. Not technology wise but more like actually building something. I like computers. I would have liked to design and build something. Maybe even an architect.
- What profession would you not like to do? Black cab driver, sitting in traffic all day I think that would drive me a bit mad.
- If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? The spurs have just won the league. No I would like him to say, everybody has been waiting for you, your mom and dad are here.
Thank you Nevio for sharing your life with us. It was a inspiring to see how you have the talent to connect strangers and to make a little caff in a big anonymous city a friendly cozy place!
Where and how will you be living in 20 years from now?
On a beach, India, the tropics, I don’t know. I said to my wife I would like to live six months in Italy and six months over here. She’s Irish, she probably wants to live there for six months. So that would be like killing myself. Haha no I love Ireland. Yeah I miss London when I’m away. I don’t know 20 years. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to stop working I might get too bored. I usually get four weeks off and comes the fourth week ah great Lisa, we’re back to work, great, yeah you know what I mean. It gets in your blood, my dad was terrible for that. In the third week he would start thinking about what he needs to order for the caff. So I think it gets in your blood.
I’m not sure. I would like to live six months in Tuscany six months in England.
Nevio Pellicci has helped in the family caff E. Pellicci ever since he was little.
What’s a miracle you’ve encountered in your life?
My mom. What a miracle my mom is, my dad was a great man, but what a miracle my mom is. I’ve never met anybody like her. She’s a miracle. She would always forgive, never hold a grudge do everything for you. Yeah my mom is a miracle. And my little baby. I can’t miss out my little baby Elena. She’s 16 months. Yeah my mom and my baby are my miracles.
Nevio Pellicci works at the family caff E. Pellicci on Bethnal Green Road.
Britain and the EU to stay or to go?
Stay. I feel it’s got to stay really in the EU. Just cause you get a lot of the European people to come over. You get no grief when you go out of the country. I don’t think we should change to the Euro because I like the British currency but I think it’s good to be part of the EU you don’t want to be left out of that.Nevio Pellicci works at the family caff E. Pellicci on Bethnal Green Road.
Do you feel more British, Italian, European or citizen of the world?
It depends yeah citizen of the world I think. When it’s about football I’m a pure Italian, but other times I try to be from Bethnal Green. So it works a bit both ways.Nevio Pellicci grew up around Bethnal Green and works in the family business E. Pellicci.
What do you love about London?
I like the mix of people. You can go down Roman Road at 1 o’clock in the morning if you’re hungry and get something, or there is always a bar or club, but I don’t go out anymore because I’ve got a baby, so I don’t go out really. But when I was younger, you know, I liked going out and meeting people from like Australia and India and wherever they are from.
What do you dislike about London?
The pace, the hectic nonstop sometimes I would like for it to go a bit slower. It’s my like and dislike. I do like it sometimes and sometimes I think oh bloody hell. You know what I mean, you feel a bit knackered sometimes. I love London, I love the mix and that you can go one place and get that, and if you need this you can anything you want.
Nevio Pellicci works at the family caff E. Pellicci on Bethnal Green Road.
Would it not bother you if Bethnal Green changed then?
Yeah a bit gentrified. But you know what. I’d like the area to be a bit nicer. I grew up when it was rougher in the area around where I grew up here. Do you know what I mean, it was like pubs were dingy. Sometimes I get an argument about that because it get’s a bit too fancy, but I like all the nice things, like you coming in trendier people. Do you know what I mean? I like the change of people that is coming in, it’s nice. Because this area has always changed. It used to be a big Jewish area, a big Muslim are now. But now it’s getting gentrified, now it’s getting trendy area. But I don’t mind it, I like it, some people complain about oh all the trendies, but you got a cat emporium down the street it’s like a caff for cats, we call it the pussy parlour me and my sister. But they call it the cat and emporium.
And there is a cereal bar, have you seen it? It’s like all American cereal and they charge for a bowl a quarter or something. (You can find that bar on Bricklane it’s called the Cereal Killer Cafe). But time has changed, people changed our menu has changed we have started doing things we have never done before. You gotta move with the time, you got different sort of customers. We get a lovely mix of people. We get cab drivers, we get travellers people we get doctors, I get everything, I get photographers, but all sorts of lives come in and we try to treat everyone the same. So that’s I think why people like it we don’t say you are like this or like that, as long as they are good nice people I don’t care, as long as they are not rude I serve them. I don’t care if you’re black, white, Indian, whatever you are, as long as you are nice people I serve you. We treat you nice, you should treat us nice.Nevio Pellicci is part of the family running E. Pellicci on Bethnal Green Road.
Is there a need in your community that should be tackled politically?
Drugs, big drug issues but I think that is all over the place really. Lot’s of crack heads and heroin users around here. But I think that is anywhere in London. You could say housing or pull up a number of different issues. I guess one thing that I would like to see would be if they would start making the area a bit nicer. I don’t know, maybe make the area a bit nicer for all the people in the community. When I grew up here there was still many nice clothing shops and other nice places. Today you don’t get that. I mean there is lots of Sari shops around here and them little pound shops and things like that. But We would need it to be a bit nicer. The people in the area are changing so much so quickly. It would be nice to have a good men’s clothing shop here so you wouldn’t have to go to the West End or Westfield all the time whenever you need something. Like a Marks and Spencer or… you know what I mean? Just to make the high street a bit nicer. And maybe make the market a bit nicer cause on the market they all sell the same clothes or all the same fruit and vegetables. I don’t know who buys it but people must buy it. A bit more of a mix would be nice, like Broadway market. That is a great little market that is there.
We met Nevio at E. Pellicci for an interview on Bethnal Green Road.
What do you call your neighborhood in London?
Bethnal Green. I was born here, grew up here, always worked here. But now I moved out to the ‘country side’, moved out to Mile End. Do you know where Mile End is? Because Bethnal Green is just a bit too expensive. So I was lucky that I got my place a few years back when it was not as ridiculous as today with the housing prices. I live right by Mile End cemetery, yeah that is right in my back garden.
Nevio Pellicci is the grand son of the founder of family run caff E. Pellicci on Bethnal Green Road. A place which connects people and forms a small community hub.
What was your favorite encounter in here and with whom?
Mhh.. we already had many famous people in here but whom did I like best?… Well do you know Mumford and Sons, the band? Well we had one of these guys come in here, Ted. And I actually got quiet friendly with him so I would say that he is one of my favourites. I go with him for a drink every now and then. I haven’t seen him for a little while but he’s genuinely a real gentleman and a real nice guy. But we even had Tom Hardy in here filming a few month’s ago and he’s a real lovely guy. Most of them that come in here they are just normal people. They have that persona that people associate with them so people think ohh, they have played some parts in films, but they are mostly just really nice guys. You get the occasional odd one but overall they are just nice normal people.
How does it feel to carry such a heritage as you are the forth generation that’s working in this café already?
It’s an honour. It something we are so proud of, me and my sister, both my sisters actually. And everyone else who works here seems to be proud to be working here. Cause its been going on already since 1900 and it’s got such a good reputation and so much history in it. So yes I love doing my job. You have got to love doing your job, every one should. Cause if your not happy doing your job your not doing it well. So yes I love doing my job. I enjoy doing it. Sometimes, you know not every day, sometimes you think ahh I can’t really be bothered today but then you just have to get on with it. That’s a bit awkward sometimes cause you have got to be in a good mood. Because if your not, it’s not nice for the customers. So just because your in a bad mood you can’t put it onto your customers. But, that’s not too often. Most of the time I love coming to work and I really enjoy doing it. And I guess I am lucky that I love doing it.
How would you describe your restaurant?
Mhh.. friendly, family run, all home cooking, great food, great.. good service.. some might say great service. Yeah I guess for a lot of people if they come in here they feel like they are stepping into their front room. They come in, have a chat, meet some people they know. Them two guys over there have met each other in here a few years back and now their friends. So its like a real community. It’s a hub for the community.
What makes for a good restaurant?
Good food, firstly, good service. Good food and good service and there is your good restaurant.
If you would have to pick one story that happened in here over the years, which one would you tell?
I had a guy in here once. Say no names. But he used to come in here with his wife and the kids. And then he started to bring these girl friends in here, which we can’t say nothing it’s non of our business. And then one day his wife saw his motorbike parked outside the café and came in to see him. He is with the girlfriend and she’s straight up clamped the girlfriend in here, in a packed out café, just chinned her. Then he took them both outside and he got some himself there. So it is a good story but then its not really a good story cause he’s cheated on her, but what to say. It’s all finished now. He’s got someone else, she’s got someone else. So everybody is happy. But yeah, at the time it was a bit crazy. There is plenty more stories but that was a pretty unusual one.
Whoever you may be, we are certain that you have experienced this before; you are sitting in a café, restaurant or bakery and witness perfection. That is an individual that seems to be on constant cruise mode. Whatever he or she does seems to happen out of a gut feeling, an intuition. Should you ever happen to enter ‘Pellicci’s’ at Bethnal Green Road you are going to meet Nevio. Or it may be fair to say that he is going to meet you. You will be introduced to his ‘living room and kitchen’, his family and community. He is one of the people that are exactly in the right place, at the right time, doing what he loves. Running the family business that has been around since 1900 he not only carries a huge heritage but also a magnitude of stories. We got the chance to meet him for the Minks’ 11th interview; and this is it. Get to know Nevio Pellicci a bit closer this September on The-Minks.
What is your full name?
Nevio Mario Pellicci
Who are you?
I am … a café worker. My family runs a café and my mum is the boss. So I am just a worker (smiles).
What does this mean to you?
I love it. I grew up in it. I have always been around here. It’s a big part of my life the café. So we would come every night after school. Me, my two sisters and my mum and dad, my cousin Tony and a couple of people who worked here and we would have dinner here every night after the café was closed and then we would go home together. So I was always around here. It used to be different years ago. We did not have the big kitchen like this and we only had the little front room. So yes it has always been a big part of our life. If we weren’t at home we would be at the café. There was always something to do either at home or here. So I would say that I have grown up in here really.