An Amazonian-Italian love story: couple to open joint businesses in town centre

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Wendell Paulus and Roberta Boffo

Wendell Paulus and Roberta Boffo, local residents for two years, will open an art studio and food importing business in joint premises by the end of next month. They have taken the 950 sq ft site formerly occupied by Sai Kung Playhouse on the first floor, 11 Man Nin Street.

Wendell and Roberta are partners in life as well as business. They met more than seven years ago in Peking while studying at different universities. Wendell was studying petroleum engineering and Roberta business and marketing.

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One of Roberta’s art works

BUZZ asked Wendell  why, given his master’s degree, he was not making a lot of money working for the likes of Exxon or Shell. “I wanted to do something from the heart,” he said looking at Roberta intently.

The Tai Mong Tsai village residents are making wedding plans. Wendell said it was logistically difficult with families and friends in Treviso, Italy, and Suriname in the Amazon. Roberts said they are thinking about a wedding in Italy followed by receptions in Sai Kung and Suriname. This is a small country 95% rainforest that borders Brazil, Guyana and French Guinea. Wendell is a member of the Saramaccan tribe centred in a tiny village on the Upper Suriname River.

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Kids expressing themselves at Roberta’s Art House

Roberta’s Art House has been operating at Resurrection Church’s Life Centre in Pak Sha Wan. She teaches art to children and adults. Recently Roberta exhibited 10 of her paintings at H Gallery above the Standard Chartered Bank. Eight of the paintings sold for prices ranging from $1900 to $5000. Teaching art, Roberta’s website says she takes kids into the “world of zentangles and abstracts” because of her love of Kandinsky expressionism and Chinese calligraphy. She studied Chinese and Asian Languages and culture at La Foscari University, Venice.

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Asopie Açaí berries, the “wonder fruit” because of their health-promoting qualities

Wendell’s business is Amazonian food importing. Launched in November, it is for the moment a one product company. Asopie (their own brand) Açaí berries are “a wonder fruit”, they claim because of its health promoting products. The berries are flown frozen from the Amazon and packed in a Wong Chuk Wang factory into various packaging for delivery to restaurants and other food businesses as well as households.  Wendell said Asopie will soon launch a range of tapioca-based products, followed by other Amazonian foods. He will have a display of foods in the new Man Nin St premises while Roberta will run an art studio and gallery there.

For further information see Roberta’s Art House on Facebook and www.asopie.com

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