New treat for Boothbay Harbor

Thu, 06/01/2023 - 7:45am

    Footbridge traffic this summer is in for a real treat. A new shop will serve coffee and morning pastries beginning at 7 a.m. and ice cream and other sweet delights as late as 10 p.m. Harbor Treats opens Tuesday, June 13 in the former Wannawaf building on Bridge Street. 

    The new owners did not have far to search for a new enterprise. Metehan Sahin owns the nearby Harborside 1901 Bar and Grill. He and his pastry chef Tugba Ciftci are Harbor Treats’ owners. Both have extensive experience in the hospitality industry in both their native country of Turkey and the U.S. Sahin has lived in the U.S for 12 years and worked at Linekin Bay Inn and Oceanside Harbor Resort prior to joining a group which opened Taka Mediterranean Bar and Grill. In 2020, he decided to open his own place and bought Harborside. Ciftci arrived in Boothbay Harbor in 2019. She worked at Taka Mediterranean as the pastry chef and later joined Sahin at Harborside.

    The partners’ decision to open Harbor Treats was based on Ciftci’s passion for pastry making. Her father taught her how to bake when she was a small child. Her culinary education continued in high school and college. As a pastry maker and now an owner, she is especially excited about serving a variety of pastries and other baked delights like honey cakes, flans and tiramisu. Ciftci will also put a new variation on an old favorite. She is creating a bubble waffle filled with blueberry ice cream, berries and “something crunchy on top.” She described her bubble waffle as similar to a Belgian waffle. 

    Sahin believes the pastries will set Harbor Treats apart from other shops. “She makes amazing pastries. They will be made every day from scratch,” he said. After serving the breakfast items, later in the day, Harbor Treats will sell hot dogs, sandwiches, French fries and other lunchtime fare along with ice cream until closing time at 10 p.m.

    While pastries are Ciftci’s specialty, Sahin’s is coffee. He is looking forward to both brewing and selling coffee this summer. “I’m really a big fan of coffee. I’m excited about not only being one who drinks it, but also one who makes it,” he said.

    Sahin’s experience in the food industry has taught him that a business must embrace change to remain viable. “Something is always changing,” he said. “Our passion is coming up with something new in the world of food.”

    His time in Boothbay Harbor has shown that his guests also embrace change. “People really like the modern-style food. They are open to trying new things, and Boothbay is a wonderful and supportive community. We look forward to creating a continued good experience for our guests,” he said.  

    Harbor Treats will employ eight to 10 workers and remain open until October.