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Nick Roche – The Art of Selling

Nick RocheNick Roche is one of our newest sales associates at our Chevrolet Store in East Dubuque, IL. Nick knows all about quality – he looks for it in an artist’s exhibit, craves for that flavor of perfection in a dish, and offers the best of quality to his customers. Nick can tell you where to eat, what wine is the best, what exhibits you shouldn’t miss and what deals you just can’t beat. The following interview inherits a bit about Nick and his likes.

Welcome to Runde’s Nick. So, what made you want to be a salesman?
I had previous sales experience selling golf equipment. It’s all about figuring out what people need and want. I also wanted to stay around the area because I like it here and all my friends and girlfriend are here.

Where are you from?
Park Forest, IL. It’s a South Suburb of Chicago. I’ve lived there since I was born in 1984. I moved here to go to school at Loras studying art and English.

Is the rest of your family back in Park Forest?
Yeah, I’m an only child. My step-sisters live in Ashville, NC and the other in Denver, CO.

Were you pretty spoiled as a kid?
Yeah. *laughs* Absolutely.

What do your parents do?
My dad does cultural intelligence training. He does all sorts of team based training – getting people from different cultures to mingle together better. My mom works for Illinois State Medical.

How do you like the Tri-States?
I love the Dubuque area. It’s an exciting time. I feel like Dubuque is going to keep doing some cool stuff. Like that Millwork District project downtown – I can’t wait for them to get that going.

Do you live in Dubuque?
Yeah, I live over on Bluff Street.

Do you have any kids?
No I don’t, my girlfriend has two kids, though. They are 3 and 5. We all get along pretty well.

How long have you been dating your girlfriend?
I met her as a freshman in college, but we’ve been dating for 3 years now.

What does she do?
She’s a social worker. She’s in grad school now going for her MSW. She also works for AMP which is a community program to help at risk youth. She’ll organize all these events, like canoe trips and cooking classes.

What do you guys like to do together?
We run after the kids a lot. We’ll take them to the park. My buddy owns Monks Kaffee Pub in downtown Dubuque so I hang out there all the time. We go to the Mines of Spain quite a bit and bike. A lot of times we’ll just drive around town, wasting a lot of gas, without any destination.

Have any Pets?
Yes. We have a French Mastiff named Reicha. She’s 3 years old now. I had a Tibetan Mastiff, but she died last October. My Tibetan Mastiff had separation anxiety so we got the French Mastiff to keep her company but it turned out that my Tibetan couldn’t stand her!

What was your least favorite subject going through college?
Math. Definitely math.

What kind of hobbies are you into?
When I’m not here I’m usually oil painting, I have a studio above Monks Kaffee that I work in. I also like to bike, golf, hike and enjoy the outside.

Do you like the Lacoma Golf Course in East Dubuque?
Yeah, I was actually really surprised that it was such a good layout.

Consider yourself a pretty good golfer?
I used to be, not anymore. I can be anywhere from a 12-15 handicap. When I played every day I was probably about a 6 or 7 handicap.

What kind of themes do you like to work with when painting?
Figurative abstracts. I like using lots of color and texture.

What influences inspire your paintings?
I studied under Tom Jewell-Vitale who teaches at Loras, I like his work quite a bit. There’s a person out East named John Walker who’s work I’m really into. Alberto Giacometti & Richard Barnes are influences as well.

What’s your favorite art piece?
Anselm Kiefer is my favorite painter. He uses a lot of objects he finds and paints over them. He has a compound in France that’s unbelievable. His piece, “Next Year in Jerusalem” is my favorite piece.

You like to write as well I hear?
I like writing creative non-fiction. I’ve been published in the Julian’s Journal and a few other publications.

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?
I’d probably go spend some time with my family in Chiavari, Italy on the Italian Riviera, South of Portofino. One of my cousin’s fathers was a lawyer and art collector during World War 2 and ended up with a lot of really rare paintings. He has a four-story home and each floor is like a museum. It’s really unbelievable.

They just renovated an old farmhouse into a bed and breakfast. They got a grant from the Italian Government to plant olive trees on their property. My goal was to graduate college and go out there to plant olive trees.

What’s your favorite restaurant in the area?
Asian Gourmet. The Asian restaurant on 11th street. It’s run by a Vietnamese lady. Her food is unbelievable. It’s some of the best Vietnamese food you can eat. I have a friend that is a top-notch chef, he says that he’s been all over the country and hasn’t had some of the curries and pho’s that she makes.

Asian Gourmet on 11th Street in Dubuque, IA

What would you suggest ordering to anyone in the Tri-States wanting to try it out?
Beef Panang. Massaman Beef Thai. Chicken green curry Thai… it’s all just awesome.

Overall, though, my favorite restaurant is AVEC in Chicago. Koren Grieveson is the head chef there. I used to go there once a week for lunch. My favorite chef is Thomas Keller. French Laundry is his restaurant in San Francisco. He does everything just the right way – everything is ingredient driven. I’d love to go on a Thomas Keller tour.

I’m a big wine drinker as well. Anything from Rioja, Spain is really good.

Do you like to cook?
Yeah, I love to cook.

What’s your specialty dish?
Braised chicken thighs. Wild mushroom soup is one of my favorite things to make.

Favorite Movie?
That’s tough… I’d say The Life Aquatic. It’s from the same maker of the The Royal Tenenbaums. It’s very funny. I also like Planes Trains and Automobiles.

What’s the last movie you saw in theaters?
The new one by Wes Anderson – The Moonrise Kingdom.

What’s your favorite vehicle on our lot?
Probably the Silverado, and I’m not even really a truck guy. I also like the Volt, it’s different, and no one else is really doing what it’s doing.

What message would you like to say to your perspective customers?
I’m laid back, honest and upfront with everything.

Thanks Nick! Welcome to the Runde’s Family!

Why not try this recipe from Nick’s favorite Chef, Thomas Keller!?


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