WONDERFUL WORLD IN AVANOS
Am I really sitting in a cafe sipping Starbuck’s coffee and listening to Louis Armstrong singing “What a wonderful world?”
Why, yes…yes, I am!
Because Lemon Cafe has opened in Avanos!
There is nothing ostentatious about this cafe on a hill in Avanos. Yet, there is something very big about this tiny place.
Avanos doesn’t have a Starbucks. There’s no Gloria Jeans. In fact, there are no popular Turkish coffee chains here either. So where can you go to get a real cup of coffee in Avanos?
STARBUCKS COFFEE & LOCALLY OWNED
Lemon Cafe has real Starbucks coffee, a cozy atmosphere inside, and a tremendous view of the river and Cappadocia outside. Add to that the incredibly personable Orçun Arslan and Fuldan Tuğ and you have yourself the best coffee place in Avanos, maybe Cappadocia!
Fuldan grew up in Avanos, but went to school in Ankara and there discovered coffee culture. You see, besides this being a tea drinking country, the only coffee culture here is Nescafe. In fact I’ve had people tell me that Nescafe is better than drip! Ugh! “We grew up on Nescafe. We didn’t know there was an alternative” Fuldan told me as we sat drinking tea on the balcony overlooking the Kızıl Irmak.” “The only alternatives were plain, sugar free, or with milk, Nescafe!”
In place of another restaurant, Fuldan and Orçun recognized the need for a coffee shop in Avanos.
But it was Fuldan’s hobby of baking that led to the birth of Lemon Cafe. “I took a cake baking class in Ankara and started making cakes for fun,” she recalled. “My sister’s daughter turned two and I made a cake for her birthday.” Her sister was so impressed with Fuldan’s creation that she told Fuldan she needed to open a bakery. “My sister started telling people about my cakes, and soon I was making up to three cakes a day. But my oven wasn’t professional, and the people had to come to my house to pick up the cakes. It just wasn’t a comfortable situation,” she remembered proudly, sitting in a beautiful setting, proof of a dream come true.
Fuldan makes the sweet treats and partner Orçun makes the drinks. I was curious as to how the two ventured into this business seeing as Orçun was a bar man and waiter for 15 years, and Fuldan was an accountant. “I loved making cakes and I was good at it. Why should I work for somebody else when I can work for myself?” she said. Even though she never worked in a restaurant, she trusted Orçun’s experience, and took the risk of opening Lemon Cafe. “If I succeed I’m responsible, if I fail I’m responsible, but we love what we’re doing.”
They are keeping it simple. The menu is hot and cold coffee drinks, fruit frozens, milkshakes and smoothies. There are four or five desserts that Fuldan rotates on a monthly basis. Today she had fruit pudding cups, an apple tart, mosaic cake, and their signature dish, lemon cheesecake! And with each drink you receive a sample of her homemade cookies.
Welcome to Avanos’ Lemon Cafe! We’re glad you’re here!
Please stop by and visit Orçun and Fuldan. Their cafe is wonderful and you can hear more of their story for yourself when you come because they both speak decent English.
As you sit with your coffee, looking out over the river, you will say to yourself…“What a Wonderful World.”
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