This was the routine of Joe Ades, also known as the ‘Gentleman Peeler’ was the New York City’s greatest salesman who sold vegetable peelers and became a millionaire.
Passing through the Union Square Greenmarket, you could not help but notice the white-haired man, with a British accent, and donning expensive suits. Once you noticed him, then you couldn’t help but be captivated.
His inspirational journey started as a young hustler in Manchester, England, in the 1940s when he left school at 15. Though Ades initially worked in offices, he was always fascinated by the small street markets in the World War II ravaged areas.
In 1993, he started selling the modestly priced $5 Swiss-made potato peelers and never looked back. His street notoriety turned into international fame when he was got substantial media attention in his life and after his death, at the age of 75, on February 1st, 2009.
“Never underestimate a small amount of money” was his motto.
‘The Gentleman Grafter’, as Vanity Fair called him, was a performer of first rate. He made the street his stage and he enticed people for 60 years.
You could not help but love him.
Check out NBC’s feature interview with Ades: