In celebration of some of our wholesale partnerships, Stumptown is taking some time to dig into their stories of hospitality. We've asked a select group of them to give us some insights into what hospitality means to them, and how they go about creating a warm, welcoming environment in their unique spaces. This week, our hospitality story features Hungry Ghost Coffee.
Hungry Ghost Coffee was born in Brooklyn in 2012. The owner, Murat Uyaroglu is originally from Istanbul, Turkey, where coffee and conversation are staples of daily life, and coffeehouses are the heart of every community. In the early 2000s, Murat and his wife moved to Brooklyn and fell in love with the distinct energy and style of its neighborhoods.
For Murat, the goal has always been to bring together the best roasts and perfectly pulled espresso shots with the vibrant coffeehouse culture he grew up in. That vision was realized when he opened the first Hungry Ghost Cafe on Flatbush and 6th Ave. Since then, he’s opened 12 other Hungry Ghost locations throughout Brooklyn and Manhattan, each with its own personality and reflection of the neighborhood it serves.
Hungry Ghost exemplifies the best in NYC coffee culture, and Stumptown is thrilled to have them as part of our family. As a loyal partner from their beginning, Murat and his team have focused on quality and hospitality, cultivating a sensational coffee experience through the design and layout of each of their locations, and their carefully curated and expertly done coffee beverages.
What does “hospitality” mean to you?
"Hospitality to me is about entertainment, but it’s also about making sure that people feel welcome, comfortable and included. Hospitality means that people feel like they are a part of something."
What is a memorable experience of hospitality that has shaped you?
"I am from Turkey, and being hospitable is a real cultural value. When guests come over, you always make sure that extra food and drinks are on offer so that everyone feels comfortable taking as much as they like. There should always be more than enough. One of my strongest memories from my upbringing is my parents’ New Year’s Eve parties. They were very social people, and I have great memories from childhood of staying up past midnight with everyone at our house to ring in the new year. "
How has your approach (or perspective) on hospitality changed over the past several years?
"Being in business, I have to be very attuned to peoples’ shifting needs and preferences. I’m always learning, and I think my perspective has changed in that I’ve learned not to make assumptions and pay very close attention. "
How do you think about moving “alongside” our increasingly fast-paced and convenience-focused culture, while maintaining quality and service?
"We’ve always valued quality and service above everything, but at the same time understand that people need us to be efficient. Nothing has changed there. We’ve never felt like we’ve had to sacrifice quality or service in order to be faster. We’ve got a great management team that ensures that we maintain our goals in terms of providing high quality and excellent service, as well as clean and comfortable spaces."
What are some of the specific things you’ve added (or let go of) over the years, in order to balance customer experience and business needs?
"We’ve simplified our kitchen. Early on, we did more in terms of food. We chose to scale that down somewhat so that we could focus more on the quality of the drinks we serve, adding more options and also making sure that staff were better trained. We also outsource baked goods from local vendors.
"In terms of additions, we co-branded a 12 ounce bag of coffee beans with Stumptown for customers to brew at home. That’s been a popular item and has helped us to have a farther reach in terms of our brand."
What do you see as the “future of hospitality” for you, your business, and/or the industry?
"I am humble about the fact that this industry is always changing and that we need to keep learning and growing. I am hopeful that we will still be a part of this industry in the future. We love what we do and plan to continue working hard so that we can continue to be a part of this ever-changing industry."
Interested in serving Stumptown coffee at your restaurant? Learn more about becoming a Wholesale partner here.