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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Claudius: Design is the core of what we do and what we’re all passionate about, but hardly our only focus. Design, at LAUDO, stands more for designing a whole strategy, often very close connected with marketing. We’re developing websites and apps for our clients, but also help them reach their target audience through SEO, Google ranking developing newsletter systems, print brochures etc.
Claudius: A lot of other companies are seeing themselves as a service provider and don’t really question what their client wants and why. We pay very close attention if the work we provide for a client is in line with our personal values and vision. It’s not just delivering a product to the client, getting the paycheck and leaving, but also building relationships with clients and collaborating. Because they are often our doors to new opportunities
We see LAUDO as an airport, where the clients are our gates to new guests, new perspectives and new potential clients. It happens all the time that whoever we’re working for, from there we get a new project, which wasn’t planned before. So we open up a new gate. That’s how we were able to grow and why good connection with our clients is so crucial for us.’
‘’We see LAUDO as an airport, where the clients are our gates to new guests, new perspectives and new potential clients. It happens all the time that whoever we’re working for, from there we get a new project, which wasn’t planned before. So we open up a new gate. That’s how we were able to grow and why good connection with our clients is so crucial for us.’’
Orietta: I think one thing that makes us stand out on the market and our number one strength is the team. We’re a small team and we all look in the same direction and have the same approach and vision. That makes the communication go smoothly.
Joey: Another thing is that we have a very hands-on approach. We are the guys, who say: ‘’Okay, let’s do it’’. That’s our culture.
Orietta: When we started looking for a place I was already involved in the betahaus community. Working from previous betahaus locations and attending the community events, I already knew a lot of people in the 'haus ...
Joey: Yes, I remember on the first day we came to betahaus Orietta was like ‘’Oh, hey! Hi! Hey, how are you doing? Hi!'' giving high-fives to everybody and we were like: What is going on, why does she know everybody?!
Orietta: Well, the vibe in betahaus is just super easy going. You directly feel that you can meet people easily. If you go to the kitchen for example and just ask ''Hey how are you, what are you working on?''. We made many new contacts too.
Claudius: What makes it nice here is that people are enjoying being here and working on their projects.
Claudius: The truth is, we could probably afford an office for the same price, but that would put us between these four walls, which put you into a box, much harder to exit and to connect with new people. We went for a Team Desk because here we have so much more space and everything seems much more connected. You can easily meet people.
Orietta: And it’s just so spacious here. We have this super nice garden.
Claudius: I like being focused on my work but I also like if someone disturbs me from time to time. It helps when the door opens. In an office we would work in a whole different way. Here Gillord (Coworking Manager) is coming in everyday, giving me a hug, telling me about his workout .. that’s the main reason - the personal connection.
The day in betahaus starts with a hug and ends with a hug. The time in between is pretty much spent on doing what you love.
After you’ve taken care of your paperwork and you’ve signed up both in Bürger- and Finanzamt, you are all set up to start working. One of the best ways to get integrated into the city fast, meet like-minded people, and even find clients is by working from a coworking space. There are tons of benefits for freelancers and luckily Berlin has a lot to offer in this way. A coworking space is a physically collaborative shared workspace, which brings all kinds of creatives and entrepreneurs together. It’s a perfect place for startups, freelancers, digital nomads and even corporates searching for innovation. And it’s the biggest advantage towards the typical office space is that it pushes a collaborative exchange between its members and facilitates the creative process and networking.