By Margaret Sheard …
This was the first time I had visited Hati’s Cafe in Esentepe. As it was for her 14 years celebration, Hati had invited many people to join her on 1st April to celebrate the occasion which was very special to her.
There were around 60 people who joined Hati for a wonderful buffet lunch and Brian Delaney treated us to some lovely easy listening music during the very relaxed afternoon. Sets of 3 different quiz sheets were handed out and that kept the guests very occupied with the different sets of questions and we passed these around between us to complete where we could. A very nice way to bring people together, chatting about the answers. Also at the birthday celebration were Hati’s very good friends Elhamiye and Tűner Tanisay, who are like family to her and this is included in the information about Hati, shown below.
Hati was very busy with the food preparation when we arrived and when we moved inside later to help ourselves from the buffet there was a huge array of lovely food – salad items, quiche, borek with different fillings, chicken kebabs, sautéd potatoes, so much more to choose from, and following this there was a table laid with delicious desserts.
As usual there were some familiar faces and others we did not know and as we were sitting at a long table with others we were able to make the acquaintance of some of the people we had not met before, which is always nice.
Also helping Hati was Andy Reay who is becoming a very popular entertainer around the island. We were a bit intrigued and were told that Andy had come to North Cyprus for a week’s holiday in 2017, he met Hati and basically the rest is history as he decided to return and stay, so they now have a relationship. What a nice thing to happen for them both.
Here is a little background information about Hati who has worked so hard to achieve what is now a lovely rural cafe in a quiet area of Esentepe.
Hati Gűrbűz was born in 1974 in Turkey, of Turkish parents who came to live in North Cyprus in 1975 where they settled in the Esentepe area. They were given a house which needed a lot of work, Hati’s father completed restoring the building and eventually was able to buy this and the land surrounding it from the Government. The adjacent property had just walls standing and this also was re-built and completed by Hati’s father. In 1995 Hati married and moved into the house, she had one son and now has 1 grandson. Sadly in 2004 Hati’s marriage came to an end.
In 2004 after losing her job, during the next 4 months she had difficulty in finding another job, when she eventually found a position this also did not work out. There were good friends of Hati – Elhamiye and Tűner Tanisay who owned the petrol station in Çatalköy and wanted to open a small cafeteria as part of their operation.
Hati told us she had started to learn to cook when she was 8 years old and has a passion for food and cooking, so she offered to cook and run the cafeteria for Elhamiye and Tűner, who were so kind to her and who she has always looked on as her family. This continued for 4 years and was a very significant part of Hati’s life.
In 2007 Hati started a small cafe from her house, gradually building up the business and getting everything organised she eventually opened as Hati’s Cafe on 13th April 2008, which is now very successful. As well as Turkish cuisine and mezes, Hati also offers vegetarian and vegan food options.
A few days after the birthday celebration we called by to say hello to Hati and there was a local ladies sewing group enjoying a get-together at Hati’s Cafe, sitting under the shade of the covered terrace area.