James Paul left his hometown of Whanganui in 2009 to attend jazz school, then spent the best part of a decade as a full-time musician.
He worked in Wellington, Melbourne and aboard cruise ships based out of Italy.
Along the way he formed electronic outfit Groeni with Timaru's Alexander Green.
While the band has been successful in its own right, it's something completely different that's now putting food on the table - high quality sandwiches.
In 2018 the pair opened Good Boy Sammies, a "hole in the wall" in Newtown, Wellington.
"It started as one of those ideas you have when you've been drinking," Paul said.
"We knew there was a spot available in Newtown, so we decided to just go for it.
"There was only a three-month lease to start with. If it didn't work out we weren't going to lose tens of thousands of dollars."
As it turned out, quite the opposite happened.
Good Boy is now 150 menus deep - that's a new one every week - and has even released its own jam, with Wellington politician (and regular customer) Paul Eagle's face on every jar.
"Like Subway, it's all assembled in real time, but we use pretty boujee ingredients," Paul said.
"Al has a really good palate. He's an awesome cook, basically."
Good Boy's Instagram page has also proven to be a hit, but Paul said he thought at least half its followers weren't actually interested in the food itself.
A recent post jokingly claimed that as well as selling sandwiches, Paul and Green would be offering "life coaching and professional development courses in the Abel Tasman".
"To be honest, we're not actually sure if our social media is positively influencing our business at all," Paul said.
The pair has expanded into catering, with their sandwiches and cookies being gobbled up on the corporate circuit as well.
"A lot of that came through friends of friends," Paul said.
"In the first year we were doing a bunch of Weta [Workshop] type stuff, and that was through people we knew who were working in film.
"Three or four times a year we cater for the whole Trade Me staff, there's around 450 of them.
"We just took a few sammies down to the Trade Me office and got someone to swipe us in. We gave them the food and it came from that - 'Here's some sammies, if you like them give us a yell'."
Good Boy's success helped Paul buy a house in Whanganui at the start of the year, and local punters can have a taste of Good Boy for themselves every Saturday at the Whanganui River Markets.
He has also been teaching guitar locally since his return.
"I've only been doing meatballs down at the market, which kind of goes against the whole premise of the business," Paul said.
"Setting up another Good Boy here is definitely on the cards though. I'm going to convince Al to come to Whanganui for a few months later in the year."
Green has spent time in Whanganui before, regularly making the commute from his then-home of Stratford for Groeni rehearsals.
"Hopefully he agrees," Paul said.
"If we can find a spot then he'll help set up an actual cafe, something that's real banging.
"All our sammies come with a vegan option as well. It would be good to offer that to people here in Whanganui."