Outside sits a sign reading “Bartering: Trade your books for a free cup of coffee.” Inside, you’re warmly welcomed by owner Eda Ozen and a small, intimate staff.
A minimalist, simple interior highlights an open, sociable atmosphere with a large, wooden table at its center and chess boards decorating the tables. Bookshelves line one wall, while a large chalkboard—peppered with drawings of treats and food-centric quotes—lines the other.
The decor, Ozen says, mirrors that of her own home.
“The customers like the social atmosphere while they’re reading or working. We love books, so we want to share that,” she explained.
Ozen’s friendly Turkish accent ensures iBake doesn't serve a dish—whether its breakfast items, sandwiches, cakes or pastries—that isn’t as comforting as she is.
The new family-owned cafe, which opened in June, is Ozen’s newest endeavor after her recent move from her homeland. Ozen, her husband and sister have worked to cultivate a memorable experience for their customers.
After all, it was the desire to interact with patrons that incited Ozen's transition from owning a frozen cake factory in Turkey to a cafe in Boca.
“People come here to drink, eat and read. Office people come here to work," she said. "We have the social table, which is good for family and friends to meet. I wanted the store because I wanted to get to see the different types of people."
Not only is the cafe a quaint, cozy spot in an otherwise bustling plaza, but iBake truly goes the extra step to ensure all its dishes are healthy.
“I have a son, and I don’t want him eating chemicals. And the guests that come here, I don’t want them eating chemicals either,” Ozen said.
Decadent-yet-healthy desserts—such as flourless cookies—are on display, encased at the entrance aside homemade jams and jarred salads for sale. iBake also serves up its own housemade juices and detox drinks, free of any sugars.
“Our food is European in style, but American people like style and healthy food. In my opinion, Boca people don’t like fried foods, so all our food is roasted in the oven. We try a new sandwich every day, if we can,” she said.
At first bite, it’s evident iBake’s dishes are a cultural melting pot of tastes. The chef, a Brazilian family friend, speaks Portuguese exclusively. The waiter speaks Spanish and English, while Ozen, her husband and sister all speak Turkish and English.
“Everyone asks how we communicate, and I say we speak in food language, body language and eye language,” said Ozen of the seemingly universal language among the staff.
Needless to say, it works.
Offering delivery, takeout, weekend brunches, sit-down breakfast and lunch, the cafe operates 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, with the exception of Mondays out of season.
iBake; 209 SE 1st Ave., Boca Raton
Check out some photos of iBake, below: