In August I wrote an article about my friend, Huseyin abi (photo), and his shop, Can Can Tekel ve Bufe. Huseyin abi was having financial difficulties. Basically, the profit from the shop did not cover his family’s expenses. I helped him change the shop and provide some inspiration in the hope sales would get better.
For the past year I have spent many evenings with Huseyin abi at his shop, chatting in Turkish with hand signals and enjoying each other’s company. Now, I will spend no more evenings there with him.
Last month Huseyin showed me the sign on the shop window saying the shop lease contract was for sale. One evening last week I walked past Can Can Tekel ve Bufe and Huseyin was not there. In place of Huseyin was a family. The next day I bought some chewing gum and the young man (well, younger than me) at the counter confirmed that Huseyin had finished. This was reconfirmed when I spoke to Yasar from Istanbul Pastanesi, a cake shop across the street. Huseyin had gone to Ankara where his family comes from. I think Huseyin and his family will be based in Mersin until his son will finish the school year and/or the house rental contract is up. From previous discussions, he is likely to look for a driving job as his next earner. Whatever he does I’m sure he will enjoy not being stuck at the shop for 80-90 hours each week.
Huseyin is a good man but he is not a marketing or retail person. It is just not in him. After a few years at the shop he was not very motivated and happy to get out of it. Can Can Tekel ve Bufe is still there in name, but its heart has changed. Although I have only seen a little of the shop under new management, it looks better and cleaner. I wonder how it will work out for them.
I will miss Huseyin abi, but the shop won’t miss him nor will he miss the shop.