Freed fellow Elif Ekin, culinary artist and owner of Bohemian Baklava and of a Turkish cafe called Kahve Cafe, joins me in this episode of Freed Stories to share her journey and how she became an entrepreneur. Initially deciding to go into psychology, she soon realized that it wasn't actually for her and chose a path in art history instead which indirectly led to her career in making baklava. She has since been making baklava for a decade or so out of Salt Lake City, Utah and eventually made the decision to open up her own cafe – a decision that she describes as scary due to being a single mother without much support.
One aspect of Bohemian Baklava that makes it unique is that Elif accepts flavor challenges and creates new baklava flavors. (Can you imagine watermelon cotton candy baklava? Well, Elif doesn’t have to imagine it because it's a crazy flavor that she was actually asked to make!) Elif also discusses how she works hard to make Kahve Cafe a welcoming, loving, and safe community where customers are treated like family.
As an incredibly accomplished and inspirational woman, Elif offers people who might want to embark upon a similar journey as hers two valuable pieces of advice – (1) to be mindful of your reputation and how you interact with others and (2) to allow yourself to be vulnerable and real. She also encourages us to investigate our ideas even if they don't work out.
Be sure to reach out to Elif and learn more about Bohemian Baklava and Kahve Cafe via the various resources that Elif offers, and, as always, I hope that you will continue to tune in to the Freed Stories podcast as guests share their stories of entrepreneurship – their successes, their failures, their goals, their hopes, and so on. Be sure to hit that subscribe button so that you never miss an episode!
[0:59] – Jackie welcomes this episode's guest to the podcast – Elif Ekin.
[1:40] – Elif reveals that she has been making baklava for a decade or so in Salt Lake City and started the Kahve Cafe as an indirect result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
[2:39] – Elif describes the most unusual flavor of baklava that she was ever asked to make.
[4:10] – We discover what Elif wanted to be when she was a child and how that led to what she does today.
[5:18] – Elif discloses that she regrets thinking that she wasn't smart enough to start her own cafe by herself.
[6:32] – Elif shares two pieces of advice for people who might want to do something similar.
[9:05] – Elif credits Elizabeth Gilbert's book Big Magic as having been a helpful resource for her.
[10:19] – Elif projects toward the future, hoping that she will have a broader consumer base across the nation within five years.
[11:02] – We learn that Elif considers her superpower to be her ability to create a welcoming and loving community.
[12:17] – Elif lists off the several places where we can find her and her businesses online.
Links and Resources