Every Monday, the Chronicle fires 10 questions at a Whanganui local. This week Logan Tutty talks to Eyal Ben-Ezra - The Coffee Man on Victoria Ave.
Where are you from originally and how did you come to settle in Whanganui?
I come from Israel from a small kibbutz - anyone who has been to Israel will know what a kibbutz is.
My ex-wife is a Whanganui girl. We got married in Israel and our first son was born there.
In 2001 we decided to move to New Zealand. Whanganui was the perfect location as we had family here and a place to stay.
The intention was never to settle here, but we discovered that Whanganui was perfect to raise our kids. I have developed some amazing friendships and I'm so grateful.
Was it difficult to move and adjust to another country? That's a big lifestyle change!
No, not really. I speak English, I drink beer, enjoy motorsport and sport in general so I was sure I would find something in common with some Kiwi blokes. I wasn't too panicked about finding friends.
The first thing I did when arrived in Whanganui was look for a football team. It's my recommendation to anybody who goes anywhere. You will find a connection with people, it's an easy way to find friends.
How did you come to own a coffee cart?
Originally in 2004, my ex-wife wanted to do something on the weekends to help contribute to the family income. I was working in car sales at the time. We found this cart in Wellington and we had recently remortgaged our house. We went down there and towed it back to Whanganui.
What do you love about your job and working on Whanganui's main street?
Most of my time is spent here at my job as The Coffee Man, selling coffee which I absolutely love because of the people.
A building is a building, a road is a road, but it's the people that make the place. After 19 years I still carry an accent, and they ask where I'm from. I say Whanganui, I come from Whanganui it's my home.
Where are some of your favourite places you have travelled and why?
My favourite place is actually South America, Colombia and Ecuador.
After serving in the army and being discharged in 2001, I worked as a tourist guide for about a year.
I have always liked people from other countries - that's how I learned English.
School and me didn't get along. When I was 12 years old I started talking to volunteers in the kibbutz and I learnt how to read when I was driving trucks in America. I had to read the road signs to know where to go.
Unfortunately, I haven't travelled New Zealand yet because every time I take time off I go to Israel to see my family. If I was unlimited in time, I would go to the Bay of Islands. Some say it's really nice there.
I've given you a brand new surround sound system for your coffee cart, but you can only have one artist playing the whole time, who would you choose?
It is a very big call, unfortunately I can't tell you who I'd choose. I like music in general and it would be impossible to just choose one artist.
Do you have any special or strange talents?
I don't know if you call it a talent, but I have this thing that I know who I'm talking to. Part of enjoying what I do is I understand who's standing in front of me. How to talk to them, how far I can stretch my sarcasm and banter without being offensive. I would call that a talent.
And what about hobbies? How do you like to spend your time outside of work and family?
It's motorsport. My hobby is my motorbikes. I've got two bikes, the missus and the mistress.
It was always my dream as a child was to race motorbikes. When we arrived for a visit in 1998, it was Christmas and I was told I need to see the Cemetery Circuit.
Since I saw it for the first time in 1998, I've been there every year and I've always said I want to do it.
Nine years ago, I had a crash at corner one. Two years before that, I completed the tri-series and competed in the Cemetery Circuit for the first time, wow.
When you finish racing, for a month after you are still picking memories from the race. It's an amazing feeling.
When I crashed in 2009, it knocked me out. About a year after, I decided to pay it forward so for the last eight years, I've been volunteering at the Cemetery Circuit and the tri-series and I do recovery.
What advice would you give to your 20-year-old self?
That's quite a difficult one. When I was 20 years old I was in the army. So my advice for myself, do not tell your sergeant it's your birthday. He will make you run a lot, shut your mouth.
Do you have any goals in the next 10 years that you hope to achieve?
My one hope is to go travel around the world again. I have no plans, I've decided not to plan anything until 2022 and then see what happens with the world.
I'll concentrate on my home, try to get rid of my mortgage as quickly as I can and try to be as happy as possible. Continue what I'm doing here, which is making people smile. If I can make someone smile for a second ... job done.