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Already known for their award-winning coffee, the team behind Kahve have taken their knack for tasty, curated treats, personalized, friendly service and local flair to the wellness industry with the brand new SNCTM, an all-in-one pre- and post- workout bar tucked away inside TMPL gym.
Like many others, Kahve’s co-founder Erol Zeren and his partner Javier Skipper spent the pandemic lockdown focusing on their physical and mental wellness. “You should have seen when he first tried to get me to meditate,” said Erol, “I couldn’t stand still — but now I even meditate on my own!” So when an opportunity to open a juice bar in TMPL Gym arose after the brand took over the fitness space previously occupied by New York Sports Club in World Wide Plaza at 355 W49th Street between 8th and 9th Avenue, Erol and Javier, now well-studied in wellness, jumped at the chance. “I was walking by the gym after TMPL took over and asked them, ‘Do you still have a juice bar?’, and they said ‘Please, please take it over!’” said Erol.
While they plan to offer Kahve’s much-loved grounds and fan-favorite drinks in addition to new smoothies, workout supplements, skincare and wellness shots, SNCTM will be a totally new venture with its own brand identity, in part designed by Javier, who is studying graphic design and computer animation.
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“I came up with the concept by thinking of it as the sanctum within a temple,” said Javier. “It’s kind of a holy place that you can come and take care of yourself. We will have top-notch products for everybody, no matter where they are in their fitness journey.”
They’ve curated a menu of smoothies, caffeinated drinks, protein and vitamin supplement beverages and nutritious snacks. “We’ll have everything from supplements for recovery, muscle building to post-workout skincare products and gym equipment like yoga mats — we’re stocking anything that we thought would help a client’s fitness journey and products that we’re passionate about,” Javier added.
Erol said the duo were excited to offer an exclusive selection of products by independent local vendors: “Anything that we’re not making in-house, and aside from a few Quest Bars, will be wellness products sourced locally and/or made by LGBTQIA+, woman and Black-owned and operated businesses, that you cannot buy within a 90 mile radius of this location on Amazon,” he said of offerings that include Bloom Lattes, Boost Juices, and Happy Hippie Gummies. “We’re really excited to have made agreements with them and to have products that we’ve specifically curated just for this place.”
In the lead up to opening SNCTM, Hell’s Kitchen fitness fanatics have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of the wellness bar. “People have been walking up to us while we’re setting up and placing orders!” said Erol. “We told them, ‘we’re almost there!’”
“It’s been great having people recognize the Kahve logo on our menu — having their neighborhood coffee shop here too means a lot,” added Javier. They hope to bring tasty, affordable smoothies and workout drinks to a centrally convenient location on the West Side: “We wanted to make sure our prices weren’t more than anywhere else in the area,” he said, adding, “we want to deliver great quality at a good price point as well.”
They also want to make the gym going experience as breezy as possible by setting up systems where customers can pre-order beverages to be ready after their workout and having accessories on hand for last-minute needs. “We don’t want anyone to be stressed out if they forget something at home — we’ve already thought of it and have accessories ready to go — that’s our mindset,” said Javier. To keep things fresh for regular gym-goers, the team plans to curate a seasonal menu with flavors that match the weather: “Right now, we have a pumpkin spice latte from Bloom and a few pumpkin spice spritzes that we’ll rotate in and out to keep people on their toes,” added Javier.
While Erol and Javier hope to eventually expand the SNCTM concept to TMPL’s other locations across the city — “Right now, none of the other locations have juice bars,” noted Erol — their ultimate goal is to open a standalone wellness bar right here in Hell’s Kitchen. “Our dream is to have a wellness store on 9th Avenue that sells everything from organic supplements to yoga mats,” said Erol. “We want to make sure you’re learning how to take care of yourself the best way possible.”