Meet A Local Monday | Anton Nocito
Photo Credit: Time Out Magazine
Welcome back to Meet A Local Monday's! This week we met up with one of March's Featured Artisans: Anton Nocito of P&H Soda Company. Anton dishes on the origins of P&H and what inspired him to create a premier Soda Syrup company from the ground up. Check it out below:
P&H Soda Co.
Company Launch (Year):
First soda sold in 2009
What Inspired You To Start Your Company?
I was thinking about my next move. The idea stemmed from me thinking about opening a luncheonette/soda fountain. I started experimenting with making the syrups at home. My wife, Erica, talked me into selling them at a market in Greenpoint, Brooklyn and the rest is history.
Tell us about your products.
I make an all-natural syrup from real, whole ingredients. They are superb mixed with plain seltzer or for the adults in the room, as an ingredient in your favorite cocktail.
What Drew You To Food?
I've been in the food industry my whole life. It's just what I do. My maternal grandfather was a baker, and my paternal grandmother was one hell of a cook. She made a mean roast pork leg with some amazingly crispy skin, so good!
Where Does Your Food Inspiration Come From?
I've always been a fan of chefs like Alice Waters and such. I think simple and great is the best way to go.
What Products Are You Working On Now?
I've been very focused on growing our business. I haven't really been turning out new products recently. I've been thinking more about what's going to change the world in some way, and how can I use what I do to make that happen.
Do You Have a Favorite Product?
My syrups are my favorite right now.
Latest Ingredient Obsession?
I love dried fruits. They make a great flavored syrup. I've also been into my friend Kheedim's Kimchi Paste, from Moma O's Kimchi.
What Did You Have For Dinner Last Night?
Pork tenderloin with white bean stew and sauteed broccoli.
What Person, Living Or Dead, Would You Most Like To Have Try Your Product?
What’s The Best Piece Of Advice You’ve Gotten In Building Your Business? What Advice Would You Give Other Artisans?
My father always used to tell me that running your own business is like being a boxer. When I was a kid I didn't get what he was saying. Now that I'm 43 and in the thick of it, I get it. You have to be the last one standing no matter how hard and fast the punches keep coming. Keep moving forward.
What Other Local Food Artisans or Chefs Do You Admire?
for best chef in the Northeast for the 2014 James Beard Foundation Awards. It's well deserved and long overdue.
If You Had To Choose Your Last Meal, What Would It Be?
NYC Style Pizza
Favorite Restaurant or Food Experience?
What Do You Enjoy Doing Outside of the Kitchen?
Spending time with my wife Erica and my son Aidan.
What’s Your Favorite Kitchen Soundtrack?
It depends on the day. I busted out my old cassette tapes from the 80's and 90's a few years back. The kids in the room thought I was nuts, I don't think some of them knew what they were. Mostly listening to old new wave and punk but like to switch it up for some Public Enemy and Digital Underground every once and awhile.