Taste of Italy at Limerick's Milk Market

Taste of Italy at Limerick's Milk Market

Andrea Della Greca, pictured with Jessica Mangione, at the Moca Food & Wine stall, every Saturday in the Milk Market

What time do you get up?

I usually get up at 5.30am on Saturday’s for the Market, Monday to Friday around 8am.

What is your normal breakfast?

My breakfast is a cup of hot milk and Italian cookies, didn’t change since I was 5.

Do you go for a walk or to the gym before/after the office?

My work is very physical, I do deliveries during the week, lifting 25kg bags of flour and many more heavy goods all day long. It really destroys me, it’s my free gym as I call it. On Sundays, I always go for a walk with my wife and daughter around our estate and if the weather is good it really is the best part of my week.

What time do you arrive at the office?

I usually arrive at the market around 6.30, it only takes 10min driving from home, I am quite lucky to be living in Limerick city.

What are you first duties?

As soon as I arrive I start preparing the stall. First I set up the display with all my dry products, divided by size and type, everything placed on top of a table cloth of burlap fabric. I love this material because it reminds me of the market back home in Tuscany.

Around 8am, I place all the cheeses and cold cuts on the wooden board and I start making the famous cannoli, a variant of the typical sweet delicatessen from Sicily. It a cylindrical fried pastry shell filled with Ricotta cheese, sugar and dark chocolate

Finally at 10am, I start preparing the Italian Panini’s with Buffalo Mozzarella and a selection of Cod Cuts, garnished with extra virgin olive oil and sundried tomatoes, the perfect way to start the day.

How many cups of coffee/tea would you drink a day?

I usually drink no more than one coffee a day, espresso during the afternoon, a Latte in the morning.

What is normal lunch, do you have a favourite place?

I eat my own food, a sandwich with Parma Ham is my favourite.

Do you have many meetings during the day?

I take care of the logistic side of the company, we supply our products all over the West so I am always around with the van but if I meet one of my clients during deliveries we always talk about new products, new recipes or chat a simple chat.

What time do you finish up at?

If you work for yourself there is always something to do, so you need to give yourself a time limit, usually it’s when I finish the deliveries around 6.30/7pm. It’s a long day but a big improvement from the long shifts I was doing in the last 10 years where I was working in restaurants and hotels in Europe and Dubai till late at night.

Having a family isn’t easy if you never see them, so I decided to reinvent myself and start over with this new adventure of running an Italian food Import in Ireland.

Having the opportunity to promote Italian food culture in Limerick thanks to the Milk Market gives me the chance to share my passion for food with other food lovers looking to recreate recipes they tried in Italy, and seeing their smiles the following week while they show me pictures of the dish they made is priceless.

Do you watch much TV?

I never watch TV, usually I watch Movies on Netflix from my Laptop. I like to pick what I’d like to watch instead of relying on the TV channel.

Do you read newspapers?

Driving all day it's easy to listen to the radio, I love listening to The Last Word with Matt Cooper on Today FM.

What do you do to relax?

I love reading books on my Kindle or watching a documentary.

Are you able to leave the office behind?

As soon as I come back home in the evening, I completely forget about work, my thoughts are all for my family.

What is a perfect work day?

My perfect work day is waking up early, do the deliveries on time without finding any traffic jams and be home at 5.30pm in time for preparing dinner for my wife, Lina, and two and a half year old daughter, Malaika, so we can play all evening and after her bedtime watch a movie with my wife.

Do you ever lose the cool and if so what would make you annoyed?

I hardly lose my cool while working, because driving so many kilometres a week I need to be focused and calm. I am a really relaxed person that likes to keep everything under control even my stress levels.

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