When Huseyin Demircioglu ’17 was a finance student at Cal State Fullerton’s College of Business and Economics, he spent a lot of time studying at coffee shops in and around campus. It got him wondering, what type of coffee shop would he run? What do students desire when getting coffee? And how could he develop a concept that not only serves outstanding coffee, but is also a space for networking and study time?
In March 2015, Demircioglu put his plans into action with the launch of The Coffee Tale, an organic coffee shop in the heart of Huntington Beach’s Bavarian-inspired Old World Village district.
“I wanted to create a home away from home for people to come and experience a different story with our coffee shop,” he says. “I was 100% passionate about coffee, and I was motivated by wanting to be my own boss. I also wanted to provide a gathering place for people to come by, sit down and take study breaks or come together and get connected.”
Utilizing the SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis learned in his CSUF business courses, Demircioglu found a unique niche that sets his business apart from his competitors – integrating his native Turkish culture into the business model.
“Since the 16th century, coffee has been in every Turkish household, and the people are very hospitable. We try to show this in our coffee house,” he says. “We have baklavas here, and we also have an additional competitive edge as an organic coffee shop.”
The Organic Difference
Free of chemicals, such as pesticides, organic coffee growing differs from its larger commercial counterparts because it is raised in smaller micro-lots, many containing rich volcanic soils or shared with fruit tree cultivation. The soil takes in the minerals and flavors, resulting in an especially savory coffee bean product.
The Coffee Tale uses organic coffee beans that come from these micro-lots from various regions of the world.
“Every cups tells a different story, with region, soil, altitude and weather all impacting the final product,” says Demircioglu. “That’s why our coffee is always chosen from plantations and locations accordingly. There’s never been coffee that has touched my taste buds like this coffee, and I wish everyone would have the opportunity to taste it.”
Starting Your Food Service Business
Whether you are interested in coffee or another aspect of the food service industry, Demircioglu says determination and enthusiasm are essential for success.
“Any Titan considering starting a food business should have the passion, so you feel like you never have to work a day in your life. When you have a passion, people can see the passion and effort you put behind what you’re doing,” he says.
Investing in your personal development is also a cornerstone of success.
“Wake up early. Health is wealth. The older you get, the more toll it takes on your body. Going to school helps you be more responsible, but after you’re done with school, you have to hold yourself accountable,” says Demircioglu. “Take the leap of faith, because anything’s possible as long as you set your mind to it. And exercise, eat right, read a book, the things that successful people do.”
Your Visit to the Coffee Tale
Demircioglu encourages his fellow Titans to visit the Coffee Tale and Old World Village, especially on weekends, when the district hosts events, such as a seasonal Oktoberfest and other ethnic festivals, live music, and dachshund dog races.
“Old World Village makes you feel like you’re no longer in America. You’re far away but still here. It’s almost like a fairy tale,” explains Demircioglu. “You stumble across a small German market and a place where they hold the Oktoberfest. There’s a lot of culture. The architecture is a lot like Germany. There’s a lot of events on the weekends, and people live in the village, too.”
Built in the 1970s, the district embraces the traditional European design of businesses on the ground floor with the shopkeepers living in upper stories.
If you visit the Coffee Tale, you may also explore the market, bakery and deli, which are open daily (9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays and Tuesdays and 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays). It’s a go-to destination for authentic pretzels, sauerkraut, meats, fish and more.
And there’s also the Bavarian restaurant and biergarten, now embracing a fast-casual concept in light of COVID, which is open Fridays through Sundays from noon to 8 p.m., with outdoor dining.
For more information, reach out to Old World Village at 714-895-8020.