Many of you who live in or have visited Berlin may know Barcomi’s. Whether it’s the Deli set in a leafy courtyard in Mitte’s Sophien Strasse or the Coffee Roastary on Kreuzberg’s well frequented Bergmannstrasse that you associate with the name, one thing you will all know – the coffee and the cakes are delightful.
But if you don’t know the back story to it’s conception, I have a little interview with founder Cynthia Barcomi to give you some tips on her success. Originally from the U.S, Barcomi came over to Berlin as a dancer 28 years ago, but found her passion in baking.
You are originally from the US, tell us a bit about your background.
I was born in Seattle, WA and am the youngest of three sisters. My father was a lawyer, my mother a homemaker. I was always very creative, began taking dance lessons at the age of 3 and began baking at this time, as well. I went to an all-girls boarding school in upstate New York, which I credit with making me the person that I am today. I continued on to Columbia University where I studied philosophy and theater and graduated with honors. I moved to Berlin in 1985 as a professional
dancer and have been here ever since!
I read that you used to be a dancer, what made you switch to baking?
I danced professionally in Berlin for 8 years. After my second daughter was born (I have 4 children) I decided I wanted to do something else, so I began to roast coffee beans. I knew I had potential to do other things in my life, I just had to decide what that was! Baking started out as just a thing on the side, which blossomed into…my life, my purpose in life.
What’s your favourite dance piece?
Well, I just love Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Pina Bausch. Netherlands Dans Theater is also so amazing – I can’t decide on just one!