Walking into Outer Bean Juice & Java in Kitty Hawk feels like coming home to comfort food. There is something about the space that feels cozy and welcoming. Perhaps its the aromatic scent of coffee that fills the air, or the chalkboards with menu selections, or the quiet conversations among friends at the tables.
Or maybe it’s owner Necla Rader, calling out in her distinctive Turkish accent, “Darling it’s so good to see you. How are you?”
Necla (pronounced Naysh La) has owned the coffee shop, juice bar and lunch counter since it opened in 2013, and the shop seems like a natural extension of her. She is warm, outgoing, and complex, and from the beginning she knew what her model for the cafe would be.
“I wanted it to feel like a home outside of the home,” she said. “Europe has places everywhere you go. Everybody just loves to go to those places, just feel warm and cozy. Here this is more a home environment.”
A naturalized citizen since 2008, Necla grew up in Istanbul. Although the city is one of the largest in the world, there was always a feeling of being surrounded by love.
“My family is strong. It wasn’t just my mom and dad involved in my life. You never felt lonely. You had uncles and aunts,” she said.
Her parents, who were poorly educated, pushed Necla and her siblings to reach their fullest potential.
“My mom and dad didn’t even finish elementary school where they were (growing up) because they were farmers,” she explained. “They tried to raise their kids and put food on the table, and because they didn’t go to school, make sure we would go to college. What they didn’t have they tried to provide us to have.”
The emphasis on education paid off—in Turkey, she earned a degree in mathematics, taught herself computer programming and systems analysis, eventually finding her way to Greenville and finally to the Outer Banks.
There was something about the Outer Banks that appealed to her.
“I think I admire the simple lifestyle here. I just enjoy the people. I like the small community. I think because I grew up in a big city…here I know people and they know me,” she said.
There is also the beauty of the Outer Banks that appeals to her. “You have a beautiful sunrise and sunset. You have water on the borders,” she said. “I always tell people I live the retirement lifestyle. They want a house at the beach and a smaller size. I live that and I love what I have.”