Episode 1: Marco Prüfer, Cafe Kraft
For our first episode of Barista Stories, I would like to introduce you to my friend, Marco Prüfer from Cafe Kraft Berlin. Marco opened Cafe Kraft over three years ago with his friend Jarvis, after working in business for a number of years. When I asked him about the opening day of Cafe Kraft, he answered with an embarrassed chuckle, "Jesus, we started horribly, a shameful story almost, we had no idea about coffee". Kraft was put together, with the help of friends, who still come even today as guests and customers. I wanted to hear about the relationships between Marco and his local customers.
This is his story:
We have a very friendly lady friend, a retired lady who, knows everybody, she's like the press, whenever something happens on this street, she knows, she often comes in for a chat, a coffee, even a juice, even though we stopped serving juice so now we give her something else. And then for some reason she just stopped coming, for some weeks and then some months for reasons that we don't know. Now, shes a really sweet elderly lady, and she's from Cologne, she used to be a taxi driver, so you know she loves to come for a chat. So when she stopped coming in we were concerned, but then later I heard a rumour that she was actually mad at me, me the barista and owner of this shop, because she thought that I had a child, that I am the father of a child that I'm not taking care of, you know like a love child. So in the end she was convinced that I was the father of a kid that I wasn't taking care of, that she was so mad that she didn't come in for over three months (as a matter of fact I don't have kids).but then, another one of our neighbours met her and told her, that you know, Marco doesn't have any kids, so all is now forgiven.
So now she's back, coming in for talks again, she even gave me a cute little birthday gift, some cook books from the south of Italy. She even came in one day started cleaning our espresso machine, with a little polish to make it nice and shiny. She's like a real cutie of course, and when we meet her at the supermarket we help carry her bags, she's that kind of neighbour.
She's like my granny!!
Cafe Kraft is a small coffee shop in Upper Prenzlauerberg, using multiple roasters coffee, ranging from JB or Man vs Machine from Munich or to local heroes such as the Barn or Bonanza. In addition to running Cafe Kraft, Marco organises a popular running club in Prenzlauerberg, as an offshoot of his coffee shop, called Kraft Runners. When you visit, tell him you read his story here.