Salisbury’s sense of community spirit is helping Arman’s to thrive

Words and photo by Tristan Ovington.

Salisbury is a proudly multicultural city and there is no better example than the Turkish owner of Arman’s Cafe, 55-year-old Arman Akbay.
The cafe was opened in 2018 at The Maltings, Salisbury, but on 7 February this year, Arman was excited to announce that she opened a second venue, t.
Arman started the cafe in the Maltings by selling traditional Turkish, handmade mosaic lamps, ceramic bowls and dresses, as well as wanting to have a cafe for shoppers to relax as they browsed her goods.
“However, especially during Covid-19, the cafe section was used less due to the necessity of people tending to take away their coffee more and wanting to sit outside more,” adds Arman.
“Meanwhile, for those who chose to sit indoors, the atmosphere of our shop with mosaic lamps was highly appreciated. They often commented on the peaceful environment accompanied by Turkish instrumental music.
“In addition, our fresh baklava varieties, Turkish appetisers, delicious Turkish wines, Turkish coffee and tea offered something new to the residents of Salisbury.”

However, the day before her new cafe-shop was due to open, tragedy struck in Arman’s home country, as on February 6th Turkey was turned upside down by a huge earthquake.
“Some of my family were in the areas affected, but luckily, everyone is safe,” says Arman. “However, it’s still an uncertain time. Let’s hope the future brings great things for everyone in Arman’s as I want to create a sense of community and support for everyone.”
Although it took Arman a little while to find the perfect city for her business, she is now here to stay.
“I visited eight other towns before deciding on Salisbury and I’m so happy to have settled in this beautiful city.
“Of course, the most important thing is my customers in Salisbury, as well as most of my friends.
“Several wonderfully friendly people embraced me as soon as I arrived here and I have learned a lot of good things from many people. Salisbury is just right for me and I thank all my customers for being so welcoming to me.”

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