Beanz Espresso Bar & Café: Immigration at Work
Kaan Ulkan moved with his family from Turkey to Prince Edward Island in November 2014 with the goal of raising his family in a quiet and safe place. Kaan moved with his wife and daughter to PEI from the densely populated city of Istanbul. Upon landing, Kaan had aspirations of opening a motorcycle rental business that would allow visitors to view the beauty of the island while cruising around on two wheels. While Kaan still remains passionate about motorcycles and one day opening his rental business, Kaan made the decision to invest in two properties in downtown Charlottetown.
In April 2017, Kaan decided to purchase Beanz Espresso Bar & Café, a quiet and charming café that has been a fixture in the downtown Charlottetown community for over 20 years. Kaan, along with his wife, remain involved in the day to day operations of Beanz, though he has kept on staff from the previous owners to ensure that the culture and familiarity of the café remained.
Since purchasing Beanz, Kaan has had the privilege of socializing with a variety of Islanders, which has allowed him to immerse himself in the culture of the Island. Kaan says it is unique that he has the privilege of socializing with many well known Islanders such as local celebrities and public officials; an opportunity that would likely not be possible in a larger city.
Kaan acknowledges that there has been some difficulty in adjusting to life in a smaller centre, but the benefit that it has had on his family is immeasurable. Kaan views PEI as a “clean, safe, and well kept place with beautiful scenery”, which is what makes PEI the right place to raise his family. Though he admits his wife and daughter are “more Islander” than him, Kaan is quick to acknowledge his admiration for the unique culture and friendly nature that Prince Edward Island offers.