How Nelson's peanut butter king used his failing eyesight to help his business thrive

The decline of peanut butter king Bruce Picot's eyesight has coincided with a rise in his business as he says he's been forced to learn to delegate.

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Pic Picot refused to allow macular degeneration to hold him back. In fact, he turned it into an advantage. Source: Seven Sharp

One of Nelson's most recognisable figures can't reciprocate by recognising those he encounters on the street, Seven Sharp reported.

That's because Bruce Picot, universally know as Pic, has macular degeneration, a condition that severely inhibits his central vision.

"I do get people when I say 'who's that, who's that' and they stare at me and go, 'you know, you know," Pic said. 

Interestingly, the decline in Pic's vision has coincided with the rise of the business he founded, Pic's Peanut Butter.

"So, I can't read spreadsheets, I can't do the graphic design and I can't fix any machinery," he said.

"So I have had to delegate. And I think from meeting other business people that delegation is one of the hardest things to do. But it's been easy for me because I really had to."

This week is Macular Degeneration Awareness Week and with dutiful guide dog Fido, Pic is putting aside his peanut spread to spread the word on the streets of Nelson about the most common cause of vision loss among older New Zealanders.

"One person in seven over 50 has signs of it already. You need to get on to it," he told one person.

Pic has stopped reading, and driving.

"I read my last book at about 55. That was a real struggle. It was just too hard in the end. And I stopped driving just before I turned 60."

The talented businessman has also used his time out on the street this week to play the piano, for the first time in public.

"I started learning the piano two or three years ago. That was my first public performance."