Ms Barcomi, before you opened your café you were a professional dancer…
That’s right. But one day I woke up and thought: German coffee doesn’t taste especially good. So I opened my own coffee-roasting business – that was in 1994. And because cakes and pastries go so well with coffee, I started baking as well. Then, three years later, I added the deli.
How does one survive as a late entrant in the food service industry?
You are now not just a chef, but also an active blogger and Facebook user…
My starting point was inspiration – that’s like dance. I used to love dancing, but I simply had the feeling that I was capable of something more and could develop something completely new. Lots of people have good ideas, but it all depends on how you implement them. I know what I want and I work in a very structured way – for me every goal is followed by the next challenge.
When I opened my coffee house 21 years ago, there was no internet. Over time, more and more digital platforms have developed, like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. When there is something new to discover, I like to try it out. Digital technology is like a piece of kitchen equipment – you have to know how to use it properly.
Does your involvement on social media have a positive impact on your business?
Do you already have a plan for the future of Barcomi’s?
Definitely. Before, my clientele was restricted to Berlin. Today I can reach people in Spain, Sweden or the USA without leaving my desk. If they happen to come to Berlin, some of them will drop in for a cup of coffee and we’ll take a photo together. Photos and videos convey more than all the words in a recipe.
At the moment I am very happy with my two cafés and 50 staff. I don’t want to run a chain of eateries. I prefer to interact with my customers, readers and viewers. For instance, I make a point of answering questions about my recipes myself.