Pure by Cuppa @ Harvey Nichols

October 16th, 2006  | Category: Memoir/Meme/Misc.


A couple of months ago, Turkey’s first open-air mall opened in İstanbul: Kanyon. Besides its unusual architecture, the main attraction of the mall (for me at least) was some of the new brands that entered the Turkish market. Among these, I was extremely happy with Haagen Dazs and Wagamama. Although the traffic from home or office to the mall is a bitch, it didn’t matter. There was Belgian Chocolate Ice Cream at the end of the trip. Needless to hide, I even considered buying a house at the residential tower to be closer to my ice cream. Thankfully, the ice cream was made available in other supermarkets in a very short time.

The latest attraction of the mall is the new store that opened last Thursday: Harvey Nichols. A Balenciaga handbag with a price tag of 25.000 USD made the news headlines, but there was another news that was particularly important for me.

A friend of mine who has a juice bar/cafe called Cuppa was offered to run the cafe inside Harvey Nichols. He decided that the shoppers would also be interested in tea and coffee and asked me to bake for the cafe! So now, Cafe Fernando cookies, tarts and other delicious treats are sold at “Pure by Cuppa” inside Harvey Nichols.

I simply can not get over the excitement of it all. I am more nervous rather than excited actually. For a long time, I have been contemplating on changing my career and go into something food related. But working in a family owned business and having huge responsibilities makes it very hard to make that decision. This is a very good opportunity for me to try and see how things will go. No need to quit my job. I will just sacrifice a couple of nights of the week and see if I can really do this.


There are a million questions that are keeping me at night nowadays. Will people like the things I bake? Will they just like them or drool over them? I certainly don’t expect national media coverage for a few cookies, but some ecstatic consumers won’t hurt.

So what’s in the menu? Since the cafe inside the shop is also a juice bar and the fact that there are many other cafes (Le Pain Quotodien, Starbucks, etc.) within the shopping mall, it was a bit hard to estimate demand. Would people choose to have coffee inside the shop or outside in another cafe?


So we started small. For the opening, I baked Hazelnut Biscotti, Oatmeal Raisin Cookies, Sun-dried Tomato and Cheese Scones and Chocolate Ganache Tart.



Nearly all of them were sold on the opening day. Yay! We then decided the scone was a bit heavy, so I replaced it with Poppy Seed and Parmesan Sticks. Another recent addition is Korova Cookies.

All and all, feedback had been great and I couldn’t be happier. Stay tuned for updates!

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  1. 1 - Zeynep Seda on October 17th, 2006

    Cenk congratulations, that’s great news! I am sure your cookies taste delicious. Cuppa looks really pretty! I also checked the web site; the concept, food and juices they are serving sounds delicious! Good like and enjoy!

  2. 2 - Cenk on October 17th, 2006

    Thank you Zeynep! I am also a fan of Cuppa’s website. It is so much fun to play around.

  3. 3 - mel on October 18th, 2006

    gasp. the decor is gorgeous.

  4. 4 - A on October 19th, 2006

    See, dreams do come true. Will soon visit the place and consume from each one of them together with my friends. So very proud of you…

  5. 5 - QuattroSF on October 26th, 2006

    Cengo, My dear brother,
    Words remain meaningless to express how I’m proud of you. I’ve been in Harvey Nichols last Friday afternoon after a short business meeting, but unfortunately I did not have the chance to try your extra-delicious cookies. Hopefully next time…
    You are a legend already!
    Well I can only say: Keep up the good work bro!

  6. 6 - Cenk on October 26th, 2006

    Dear Brother – Your nice comments made my day. I am not even mad for the fact that you didn’t call me when you visited İstanbul. Let’s catch up next time.

  7. 7 - Shaun on November 1st, 2006

    Congratulations on being able to do something you love and have people buy your goodies. Harvey Nichols is actually quite a big deal, so you should feel really good. I, for one, would love to just dive on in and eat your baked goods. Hopefully I will get to Istanbul one day…

  8. 8 - Cenk on November 1st, 2006

    Thank you Shaun! Actually, I feel quite happy with the opportunity. If you ever make it to Istanbul, I’d be happy to show you around.

  9. 9 - valentina on December 3rd, 2006

    Reading this post quite late but hope that your baking is being greatly appreciated as everything looks amazing. If I go to Istanbul i will definitely try to squeeze a visit to the cafe after the wonderful bazar you wrote about in another post.

  10. 10 - keiko on December 5th, 2006

    Cenk – it looks swankier than the HN in London 🙂 thanks for the great write-up.

    Oh and love the new banner, of course 😉

  11. 11 - Cenk on December 5th, 2006

    Hey Keiko – Actually I like the HN in London much better 🙂

  12. 12 - Aida on December 19th, 2006

    Congrats!! I wonder around in Kanyon quite often and I am bored. Kanyon looks bigger than it really is. Now I have something to do next time I go. Try one of your tasty treats.. Many Thanks from me and Much Success to you.

  13. 13 - Cenk on December 19th, 2006

    Thank you Aida. Actually I am not baking for Pure by Cuppa anymore. It was taking much more time than I anticipated. Also it is difficult to stay enthusiastic while baking the same stuff over and over again. But still, Cuppa’s juices are amazing, you should definitely try!

  14. 14 - Jenna on January 11th, 2007

    I really really liked your website and cooking style. I would be glad to taste your recipes, it is a shame that i missed you at Harvey. Do you cook elsewhere? 🙂

  15. 15 - Cenk on January 11th, 2007

    Hi Jenna – Thank you very much. It is great to hear so nice words… I am not baking for elsewhere at the moment. Please let me know how it goes if you try any of the recipes.

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