19 January 2023
Don’t be surprised, next time you go to Sugo for lunch or dinner, if you get a sneaky feeling you’re experiencing world class service. Because you are! Manager Anthony Lugo-Sharpe has been a personal butler to the world’s rich & famous including the Royal Family, Bill Clinton, Lady GaGa, Madonna and Beyonce to name just a few.
Lucky for Tauranga, a visit to New Zealand a few years back created such an impression that Anthony decided to stay and now Sugo and Tauranga residents are reaping the benefits.
Let’s get back to the rich and famous connection for a moment though…
Anthony was raised on a station deep in South Australia’s outback, so remote the school lessons were delivered over the radio, followed by a short stint at a Catholic boarding school before becoming an apprentice chef. Anthony’s career began at Adelaide’s Hilton International & Melbourne’s The Windsor before he found himself working at Buckingham Palace and Balmoral Castle.
A chance meeting led to one-on-one butler training with Josephine Ive, principal of Melbourne’s Magnums Butlers Academy who tutors students in seven-star luxury service. Josephine went on to become one of his greatest mentors to date. This was followed by years of personal butlering for the world’s rich and famous in their homes and aboard luxury liners and super yachts.
A night off led to a chance meeting with Anthony’s now Husband, Eduardo (Eddie). Fast forward to 2015 and The Lugo-Sharpes came on a bucket-list holiday to New Zealand and haven’t looked back since.
Anthony believes New Zealand is “the world’s best kept secret”, so much so he’s been living in the Bay of Plenty for 7 years now with no plans to leave anytime soon – this is home now. Thank goodness!
Anthony is loving being part of the Sugo whanau. He’s grateful to owners Josh, Warren & Megan for entrusting him with their beloved business.
In the transition from private butler to the commercial sector, Anthony’s goal in his own words is to make Sugo 5-star but, “keep it real at the same time”. Anthony enjoys managing a team and hires his staff for their character rather than their skill set. The rest, he says, can be taught. Anthony himself is testament to the fact that great hospitality is a career, not just a job.
Next time you feel like experiencing the very best in service and divine food, make a booking for a table at Sugo. You’ll enjoy world-class food (thanks to Executive Chef, Ian Harrison) and world famous service from Anthony and the rest of the team at Sugo in Wharf Street.