Gourmie is a culinary project by Fumiko Suzuki. She focuses on French, Italian and Japanese cuisine, yet always tries out new things. If you know the menu card of Gourmie , you can see there are no limits to the flavours she uses – from savory quiches to sweet tarts; vegetarian and meat curries, to drinks; small macaroons to wedding cakes. Fumi studied Humanities at the University of Paris III: Sorbonne Nouvelle. Later, she finished her studies at Volkshochschule in Berlin, and completed a diploma in Food Aesthetics. She always took pleasure in cooking for friends and family, which is why she decided to become a chef and start Gourmie. Fumi has been a member of betahaus for one year.
What does Gourmie offer its clients? Is there a particular target group?
I like personal service, so I cook just for one person. Nowadays, I also cook a lot for a bigger group. I like to prepare different kinds of cuisine, such as Japanese, French, and Italian. I can cook at a client’s home, or wherever people are holding events they want catered – I’m a very flexible person. Clients can contact me on my website if they have any questions or need any advice on cooking or food, or if they want me to cook for them or their event.
I don’t have a special target group in particular; I like to cook for anyone open-minded about food. I am running my company alone, so I can cook for as many people at a time as I want. I always think of how I want my food to look first, and then I consider the number of people I have to cook for, and how long it will take to prepare the food.
I am originally from Tokyo, but I moved to Europe 12 years ago, and I really like to live here. I’ve lived in France and Switzerland before, and I moved to Berlin to learn German after I discovered the international cuisine here that was present alongside the typical “grandmother-style” German cooking. A lot of my friends come from different countries and surprise me again and again with their national dishes and flavors. I feel really free here, and especially if you’re starting something new, Berlin is the city that gives you the possibility to do so, which is why I am still here and I am happy.
On the 15th of May, you are going to organize a workshop on making sushi here at betahaus. Could you tell us more about this workshop? What made you decide to start working at betahaus?
I grew up in Japan. Fresh fish, directly from the port, was part of the daily menu for me. This is perhaps the reason why I like to make sushi outside of Japan. I already have taught some sushi-making courses at the Volkshochschule in Berlin. This will be the first time I teach one at betahaus, so I would just like people to have fun, discover something new, and gain new skills. You don’t need to bring anything if you want to participate – you just need to be open-minded, and we will have fun together.
I have done some catering for cafes and for other private events, but this was too much for me to take on alone. I discovered betahaus, and I feel it’s best for me because I am always surrounded by people. I love the atmosphere here, though sometimes it can be really stressful during rush hour – people keep trying to tell me something, but I cannot listen to them because I’m too busy cooking. But every positiv feedback is really welcome, so just come over to my cook pult and tell me! Some members made my day really lovely with it. Negativ feedback, too. But not that hard. I'm a bit sensitiv.
I lived with a French family for a while during my stay in France. My host mother always cooked such delicious food, which is what first inspired me, and also my international friends. I’ve also been inspired by many food websites, cookbooks, and restaurants.
What are your future plans for Gourmie?
Right now I am updating my website, I always like it when people contact me and ask me for help or advice on how to prepare food. I like to help them, even if I don’t know them personally. I’ve also been thinking of writing a cookbook in the future, but for now, I’m focusing mostly on my website.
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Working for Lufthansa back in 2002, Joachim (CEO & founder @ Jolocom) had the idea to develop a better system for companies to swap data internally and for people to share their data with companies. Back in 2002, the resistance to open networks and communication was strong. However, just a few years later, social media and blockchain changed the rules of the game, which led to the founding of Jolocom in 2014. (Read the whole story here)
Ellie joined the Jolocom team in the fall last year. She’s part of the content team and is responsible for communications and online platforms maintenance.
Volker is currently studying IT-Systems Engineering at HPI, working on his master thesis with Jolocom. He joined the software development team in March this year and has previously worked from betahaus for another startup company.
With two locations in the heart of the city, betahaus l Sofia is a home of some of the most successful Bulgarian startups and is one of the leading innovation hubs in Sofia. Their main space is located just two minutes on foot from Sofia University and the second one stands right at the central Slaveykov Sqaure and has a beautiful view over the city.
As all of our locations, its pet and bicycle friendly and offers the same comfy and relaxed atmosphere you've come to expect from betahaus. Identical to our space, betahaus | Sofia uses glass doors for its team rooms, to build transparency and inclusion.
betahaus | Sofia is spread across 1800 q.m. divided into 2 separate spaces. Shipka 6 is 1300qm and takes over the entire 3rd floor of the UBA – Union of the Bulgarian Artists. Slaveykov Square is placed on the roof top of another historical building in Sofia. There they have two balconies with 360 degrees view, a cafe/bar and a shared kitchen.
Membership plans start from 350,– BGN for Workspace and go up to 435,– BGN for Private Offices. Currently, the space has around 190 members and will soon implement also Club Memberships plan. Every member of the Club will have access to events, conference room and betahaus community.
Ellie: Currently we have around 5 active pilots and we effectively work B2B2C. So we build our application for businesses which have their own user bases.
Volker: One of our ongoing projects is a pilot with Telekom. With their team, and partners from Riddle & Code and Simple Mobility, we have created the Magenta Scooter — an innovation in e-mobility that allows users to ride share while using their decentralized digital IDs. That means users can rent the scooter with our app and our identity. The main advantage there is that you can store your drivers licence in your Jolocom SmartWallet and then share this license with the app of Telekom. This eliminates the long onboarding process of verifying your license.
Ellie: Another example is our e-government collaboration with The City of Antwerp called Blockchain on the Move. Using the SmartWallet, municipal employees can issue and validate their own credentials and create eIDs for citizens – it’s a digital ID with which you can register at the university or go to a swimming pool, as two examples.
Ellie: Two years ago we adopted a new legal structure for Jolocom GmbH according to the purpose model of ownership, manifesting our commitment and dedication to building a self-sovereign organization. That means we can’t take VC funding or sell public shares of the company.
Volker: Jolocom is a community driven organisation – both in a tech sense but also much further beyond. We’re hugely involved in the DWeb community where we organize and attend events for the decentralized community. Every year we also help organize and attend the DWeb Camp in San Francisco, which brings together all kinds of creatives so this technology of tomorrow is built in a collaborative way.
Ellie: I know that before joining betahaus Jolocom was in the Ethereum office – a collaborative blockchain space for companies also building on the same platform and the idea was always to stay within a coworking space. When they closed and we had to move, the next closest choice in terms of company culture was betahaus.
Ellie: The people in the building and the spaces are just really cool. I personally don’t go to community events as much as i would like to but I still end up meeting a lot of people here. Mostly in the kitchen. One of my good friends is actually someone I met in betahaus.
Volker: I once saw a friend of mine presenting at betabreakfast and I didn’t know that he would be here. It was so funny seeing him on the stage.
Volker: There is this really nice place, called Green Rabbit with salads and baked potatoes where I like to go to. Sometimes I just keep it simple and go to Lidl.
Ellie: I eat a lot in west.berlin cafe which is here around the corner and I love the Matcha Lattes from Starbucks.