Kaan Bergsen

In this conversation with Kaan Bergsen, we talked about Petra’s coffee culture and the Bil’s x Petra collaboration.

Photos: Elif Kahveci (@elifkahveci)

1. Kaan hi! First, would you like to tell us a bit about yourself? What kind of education did you receive, where do you live and work? What are you currently spending most of your time doing?

I attended high school at the Austrian High School in Istanbul. After that, I continued my education in entrepreneurship and finance in the United States. I have been living in Istanbul since 2013 and working at Petra. I spend my time in Istanbul at Petra. It’s quite variable and fun to divide my days between our 6 cafes and production areas. In my remaining time, I also travel.

 

2. How did Petra come to life? What were your initial thoughts when starting this journey?

I was certain I would be in the food and beverage industry even when I was in school. During this process, I especially wanted to focus on the “beverage” aspect of the business. Personally, it was an area I found very rich and open to improvement. With the experiences and education I gained while living in America, I found myself involved in quality coffee roasting and brewing. When I moved to Istanbul in 2013, I began working on the coffee roastery business plan I had been writing for a long time. From day one and even today, our priority has been to provide quality ingredients and offer customers a coffee experience they couldn’t find elsewhere. It’s been 10 years since then, and here we are today.

3. Petra has a unique “niche” audience. How did this audience come about? Why do you think Petra Coffee is preferred?

Our common ground is coffee. I think the sincere service we provide at Petra also has a significant impact. Unlike restaurants, coffee companies should focus more on creating routine. We’re trying to do just that. As a result, our stores are filled with people who love this kind of service.

 

4. How many cups of coffee do you drink per day? Favorite coffee?

About 3. I have a cappuccino every day. Apart from that, I can have any of our beans brewed with aeropress.

 

5. Recently, Petra Şişhane branch opened at the Bilsar Building. You became neighbors with Bil’s Space, Bilsart, and Monoco artspace. What has sharing the same space brought and will bring, in your opinion?

First and foremost, it brought excitement for the two teams to come together and collaborate on exciting projects. Collaborative shirt designs, architectural processes, followed by exhibition calendars and events have already been beneficial for two high-energy companies. In the future, with exhibitions and events, I hope our beautiful audience will continue to grow and include Şişhane in their routines.

 

6. – Instead of carrying a very distinctive venue identity to each branch, Petra adapts according to the place you enter and presents a different interpretation everywhere. Why and how did you create such a concept for the Şişhane branch?

Şişhane is an old neighborhood. For me, it has a nostalgic side from my high school days. But what I remember most about it is a neighborhood that has hosted progressive cafes, bars, and restaurants. It housed Refika’s, Markiz’s Kafehaus, and the old Babylon, all of which influenced my service understanding. This set my goal high for Pera. When designing Petra Şişhane, this allowed us to turn the physical challenges of the space to our advantage. We designed a seating arrangement in the style of a modern local cafe. Our main goal was to share Petra’s service approach with Şişhane in the most sterile and clear way.

 

7. We also designed a shirt together: BİL’S x PETRA ROASTING.CO. How did this collaboration develop? Are you happy with the result?

For us, Fridays at Petra are “Formal Fridays.” While we wear more casual clothes throughout the week, we wear shirts on Fridays. This stems from our clothing philosophy from the early days. I think dressing well is something one does for oneself and the friends they’ll be with. Fridays became a routine created for the team to show their respect and importance for their work, which has been engrained in the company’s DNA. Our shirt design came directly from this. We designed it in an Oxford style but with buttons halfway and oversized cuffs. It looks very chic and allows us to move comfortably while working. It became my favorite shirt. The team is extremely happy too!

8. You have a unique style, more Japanese-like. What’s the role of the shirt in your outfits? What stands out the most in your choice? Fit, fabric, brand?

I buy a lot of pants, contrary to the majority. What I wear on top stays the same but the pants always change. I think this is because I prioritize fit and fabric more. The same goes for what I wear on top, my choice being “everyday cool cut basics.” The shirt fits perfectly here. The top is quite classic, an Oxford; with fabric, collar buttons, and so on, but it blends with the lower part, and, for example, even if you wear it with just a sweater, if the top is a straight cut, it shows an interesting silhouette.

 

9. Will you be introducing new projects in the coming period?

There will always be projects. Without them, I’d get very bored.

10. Thank you for taking the time to speak with us. Finally, would you like to share the playlist we listen to at Petra with us?

Of course. Many of our playlists are public on Spotify. Let me share my favorite.

Kaan Bergsen: @kaanbergsen

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