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The man who brought the world to Turkey: MEHMET DİNÇERLER

In the latest step of his successful career, which started at a very young age, Mehmet Dinçerler brought New York’s iconic brand Magnolia Bakery to Turkey. He says what motivates him the most is leading an ever-improving and expanding team.

Can you tell us about your career journey? I started working when I had free time from school at the age of 15. Three years later, I was a university student and thought I needed to prepare myself for life after graduation. My first full-time job was at a bakery, and it lasted about three years. After graduation, I wanted to have my own business and opened a charcuterie/restaurant. Things didn’t go as I expected so I had to sell it. With this capital, I thought I should invest in coffee because I believed this industry would grow fast in Turkey, where it hadn’t received the attention it deserved. After flirting with Gloria Jean’s for a long time, we reached an agreement. The brand exited the Turkish market in 2011 and, a year later, we brought it back. Today, it has nearly 150 branches and operates in 33 cities, becoming one of the biggest brands in the industry. We also opened Magnolia Bakery’s first European branch in Istanbul in 2022, which was a great experience.

You’ve worked on many prominent projects in Turkey. Which one are you most proud of? The coffee roasting facility which will be opened this year will be the jewel of my career. Initially, we’ll export nearly a ton per year, and I believe it will have a very bright future in terms of investment. Our goal is to make this facility the biggest quality coffee roasting and packaging centre in the Middle East and Europe.

As a young professional, what do you love the most about your job? Every job has its challenges, but there are also aspects that motivate me. The most important one is seeing the influence of our brands and investments on the end user and following their development and growth. It’s a huge satisfaction that has always pushed me to move forward and improve myself. What motivates me the most is leading an ever-improving and expanding team.

How did you decide to bring Magnolia Bakery to Turkey? Magnolia Bakery was a youth dream of mine. I had it when I was waiting in line for a cupcake at Magnolia Bakery in New York in 2010. In 2017, I saw the capacity in myself to realise this dream and took action, but we couldn’t do it back then. I tried again in 2019, with more passion; I even found their address and visited them in Manhattan. Finally, I managed to have the owner of the company sign a contract. He probably thought I was insane.

Can you tell us about the concept of Magnolia Bakery? What kind of experience awaits guests? Magnolia Bakery offers a true “New Yorker” experience. From the moment they step in, we want our guests to feel as if they were in a bakery in the U.S. It’s a temple for the fans of Sex and the City. Each corner of our store is designed beautifully to warrant an Instagram post of its own but the best part is that they will have the chance to try all kinds of desserts that can never be found in Europe, let alone Turkey. Baked daily, even fresh from the oven, the bakery’s selection is truly a festival for the palate with cakes, scones, and pies.

Magnolia Bakery boasts many iconic delicacies. Do you plan to serve any specialities for Turkey? To be honest, we’re working on something new. We’ll be serving it to our guests in spring. I won’t spoil the surprise.

It must be very hard to choose one from among these classics. What are your Magnolia Bakery favourites? Like everyone else, I love our world-famous Banana Pudding and its variations. I also think Blueberry Jamboree is a singular taste that can never be found anywhere else so, that’s my favourite.

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