What business does Berlin most desperately need?

67 posts in this topic

Posted

Been thinking of the perfect businesses to start in Berlin.. but something new and different: something that isn't here but absolutely should be.

So far I'm thinking of proper bagels, utter disgrace you can't get any but - even worse imo - a NY style deli that serves real salt beef on real rye. Why is that not here??? Also something to do with real on-site roasted coffee maybe.

What business would you do if money/funding was not an object?

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Posted

There are decent places that do all the above - and very well. There just aren't that many across the city, or they aren't spread out much.

Maybe you should live here for a while and see what is about - locals and newcomers have opened lots of great places to meet demands and create new ones.

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Posted

Cool... I'm here a lot and will be permanently next month but I never found these yet. Another reason it's the place to move to - things seem to be moving real fast...

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Posted

there are plenty of talk on this forum about decent places for coffee, bagels, brunch. Most of them are in guides books too.

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Posted

It also helps to know your market. There are quite a few bagel places, for example, as sprudel said, but you won't find them on grocery store shelves or at (most) corner bakeries because the demand just isn't there.

There used to be a Schlotzky's Deli near Checkpoint Charlie, which then moved to Leipziger Strasse, then closed down. Tim's Canadian Deli also shut down and now only does baked goods for a few supermarket chains. So apparently lack of demand there, as well.

Last but not least, no coffee roasters - seriously?

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Posted

Well I guess if people don't have demand for something then that's exactly the kind of thing I was canvassing opinions on: there was no demand for iPods and touch-screen iPhones before Apple created it.

Maybe different people have different ideas about what is 'good' though... I never found salt beef or rye but whenever anyone points me to good bagels I haven't agreed. I'm thinking Brick Lane bagels.

But enough of that - if those things we've discussed exist already or won't work then what doesn't exist that should do and what would be a great thing for this city?

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Posted

I'm thinking Brick Lane bagels.

look at it another way, compare the size and population of London to the number of great bagels shops in the city...

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Posted

Okay, I see we need to further define it to Kosher bagels maybe. Seems to be few people at that link who also think there aren't any great ones...

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Posted

What business would you do if money/funding was not an object?

Waitrose or M&S foodfor kberg

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Posted

Rye? That's rye bread, isn't it? You'd have to be trying really, really hard not to be able to find a source of rye bread in Germany I'd have thought.

I must be trying effortlessly! I know there is a bread called rye here but I dispute it is the same as the traditional rye you get with salt beef in your typical NY Jewish deli... or if it is then I haven't found it. I am on a mission though so all leads gratefully received...I'll even treat you if I find the real thing...:D

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Posted

traditional rye

any chance you don't know what the fuk you're talking about?

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Posted

Waitrose or M&S foodfor kberg

Not a bad idea the Waitrose thing. Would need shedloads of cash though. I'm also thinking of - and yes, I know there are probably hundreds of these (or are there?) a REAL Spanish bodega. Not a fusion or contemporary one or something like the execrable Mar Y Sol but a real one...wine in kegs and real hams hanging up etc.

Most Berliners I know are obsessed with Spain and its wine and cuisine (can't see why but still) so it could work massively. Maybe.

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Posted

yeap

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Posted

You know when I was starting to think about moving to Berlin I would say that it was people like you that put me off...not in yourself as you are insignificant but it seems that your attitude is one of a pattern that is somehow in vogue in some sheeplike sense.

Maybe you just think Berliners are rude and you're tying hard to fit in.

Are you American? There is a nice quite by Paul Galico which you bring to mind: "No one can be as calculatedly rude as the British, which amazes Americans, who do not understand studied insult and can only offer abuse as a substitute."

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Posted

another serious suggestion to go with your web skills. A online shipping broker for UPS/ fedex etc with the account rates brokers in the uk offer. such as http://www.interparcel.com/ impossible to get similar prices send stuff from germany to uk.

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Posted

I admire your creativity, of course there are plenty of things "here" that you cannot get "there". But isn't that one of the very reasons for coming "here"? :unsure:

If you want the best deep-pan pizza, go to Chicago. If you want the best BBQ prawns and steaks on the beach, go to Sydney. If you want the best pint of bitter, Twiglets and a pickled egg, go to the Duke of Wellington in Dalston. If you want the best (wet and soggy) NY Deli sandwich, go to.. yup you guessed it, NY!

If you're really serious about the food, cafe service industry and starting up a business in Berlin, what about doing something the Germans love, but better? Seriously, look at any Wurst Schnellimbiss and it is usually full. Most Germans love wurst, beer and a quick snack. In my opinion apart from a couple, they are all pretty shameful. My favourite is Witties at Wittenberger Platz. Best Curry Wurst and Pommes in town in my opinion (and Time Out Berlins'). Yet their beer and drink selection is atrocious - not even any fritz-kola!. But what about the rest of the city? And a good Espresso. Yes shameful.

How about a high class Wurst Schnellimbiss, with uber-quality beer (such as some boutique Bavarian sensational little numbers like Hacker-Pschorr Münchner Hell, Kloster Andechs, Weißenoher Klosterbrauerei, Kulmbacher Kapuziner, or Karmeliten Kloster Urtyp... mmmm) and serving barista made Espresso machine coffee. Just an idea. I guess the real challenge as El Jeffo mentioned is that location dictates success, demand for great locations is cut-throat, competition is severe and profits not amazing - at least until you get more than a single operation.

Today beer and wurst, tomorrow the world! B)

EDIT: Is it Friday already??

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Posted

I hear you - but you have to factor in I am coming from Spain where the situation is 100 times worse re paying bills and business failing.

Having said that - and re cupcakes - there is a new store in my street here that sells tiny, and very, very bad, cupcakes for 2.60. Is doing a roaring trade. Cupcakes are all the rage - how much are they in Berlin? More or less expensive?

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Posted

P.S., Not related, but I just remember when I went all the way to Friedrichshain to that place making real American cupcakes, I wanted to order three dozens for my daughter birthday, the place was run by an American fellow. I wanted to order a variety of flavors but then the owner said that he would only make at least a dozen of each flavor for an order so I would be limited to only three flavors. I found that ridiculous since he had a big variety on display, so I told him no problem then, I will come the day of my daughter's birthday and buy 36 cupcakes from the ones on display. Then he said he will not sell them to me because then he will not have enough cupcakes to sell during the day. Seriously? I think Berlin has something that attracts the most weird (in a bad way) people.

that's is sad.

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Posted

I hear you - but you have to factor in I am coming from Spain where the situation is 100 times worse re paying bills and business failing.

Are you aware that several thousands of your compatriotas are already here in Berlin? And I would not consider them as a target market yet because they are mostly struggling, they will be more like the competition.

P.S., A good business idea would be a halal steak house. You open it in the heart of Kreuzkölln and you will succeed. A Halal KFC is already taken. BTW, the grilled chicken is awesome there.

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Posted

anyone without the experience thinking about setting up in the service industry would do best getting a couple years experience as a manger on someone else's risk. Learn the ropes, customer, legal stuff without the stress and burden of risking everything you've got for a low return. The failure rate of new businesses is really high everywhere, and even more so in Berlin.

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