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Sorry, Soy Türkiye, you’re not getting any more of my money.

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Judge for yourself what their attitude is towards their customers.

Sorry, Soy Türkiye, you’re not getting any more of my money.


On 08 October 2019, Soy Türkiye posted a lovely photo on their Instagram account. A commenter asked whether they hammer these pans by hand or with a machine, and Soy replied, and I quote:

“with skill and experience, everyting is possible; as none of our products is formed by machine power.”

Here’s a screen shot in case you can’t see Instagram:

Sorry, Soy Türkiye, you’re not getting any more of my money.

 

The thing is, Soy does use machine power: an electrically-powered lathe that spins a disk of metal while the craftsman bends it into the pan shape. You can see them using it in their YouTube videos. How can they make the claim that none of their products are formed by machine power?

I decided to email them to ask for clarification.


To: info@soy.com.tr

From: Me

Date: 08 October 2019

Subject: Handmade?

Hi there — You say on your website and on Instagram that you do not use machine power to make any of your products, and yet your videos on YouTube show machine lathes spinning pans. How is that not machine power?


(A week later, after no response, I emailed them again.)

To: info@soy.com.tr

From: Me

Date: 14 October 2019

Subject: Re: Handmade?

May I ask for a response to this question? On your website you say “All work is entirely done by hand and hammer cold-forging. No press or even spinning is involved” and “Will be entirely made by hand on order, …, the form will then be shaped entirely by hammer and mallet, until the ideal shape is reached.” But the Vice video you link to from the site shows a spinning lathe in use!

Here is the video you link to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HClWBImQh-o

Look at 12:28 — that is a spinning lathe! At 12:36 he starts shaping the pan. How can you say that no spinning is involved when it is right there in the video?


To: Me

From: info@soy.com.tr

Date: 14 October 2019

Subject: Re: Handmade?

Hi there,

We never received the first email.

Although I am sure you feel entitled to a response, and we have no obligation to one, I will take my time and write you one, hoping you appreciate.

Spinning IS handmade, as the machine only spins the product.

If left alone, the disc would spin by itself endlessly.

The folding and bending is done by (tremendous and precise) human power, and spinning is a very, very old, pre-Roman technology, apparently attributed to the Indus valley civilization, then developed further by the Iranian Empire, and perfected to what it is today by the Ottoman Empire.

The source of power was water wheels or livestock before motors or steam engines took on.

Spinning also does not decrease quality, unlike pressing.

I hope this answers your spinning question.

We have many products that are not made by spinning, but only by hammer forging, -maybe half of our products- notable ones are the BBT-class fish kettles or the EST-class stockpots that just can’t be made by spinning.

Our company owner Emir works on each BBT kettle, for example, as only 2 of our staff know the outlines of the BBT, and where / how to hammer.

Thanking you for your interest in our products,

Sincerely,

Burak AYAZ
Bar&Coffeeware Responsible Manager
+90 216 330 0030
www.soy.com.tr
info@soy.com.tr
facebook.com/soyturkiye


To: info@soy.com.tr

From: Me

Date: 14 October 2019

Subject: Re: Handmade?

Hello Burak — Thank you for your reply. I own three Soy skillets and I collect copper cookware. I’m familiar with the technique of spinning and I recognize the hand-work involved with pushing the metal into shape. Copper cookware companies like Mauviel, Falk, and Baumalu use lathes and call their products hand-made, as you do.

It is not the use of the lathe that I am questioning, it is that you use a lathe while your website specifically says that you do not.

On this page (https://soy-turkiye.myshopify.com/collections/soy-ast-series-saute-pans) you say that your Pro line is not spun:

“No press or even spinning is involved”

And on this page (https://soy-turkiye.myshopify.com/collections/soy-nt-frying-pan-soy-pro-cookware) you say your silver pans are shaped entirely with hammer and mallet, which if they are spun cannot be true:

“the form will then be shaped entirely by hammer and mallet, until the ideal shape is reached.”

Again, I don’t criticize you for using a spinning lathe. I just don’t think you should say “no spinning is involved” and “shaped entirely by hammer and mallet” when those statements are not true.

Will you change the statements on these pages to be correct?


To: Me

From: info@soy.com.tr

Date: 14 October 2019

Subject: Re: Handmade?

Good morning,

Are your Soy cookware registered, if yes, what are their serial numbers?

For your last sentence, I’m very sorry to say, but it sounds awfully entitled.

In our defence, for a long time after our foundation, up until 2015, we did not use spinning and these product descriptions date back from then, and were left unupdated.

May I also remind you that you “accused” us of using “machine power” (when there is none) in the sentence, and I quote “how is that not machine power?”

Now please also allow back me to help you argue with us (since you have told us what to do / say until now) with giving you a better, less entitled way of stating your view (rather than trying to enforce it).

Stating “I would have corrected / updated these statements to remain factually correct, if I were you” instead of the dreadful “will you change the statements?” -for which we expect nothing short of an apology- would have been a million times more helpful and less belligerent.

Thank you!

Burak


To: info@soy.com.tr

From: Me

Date: 14 October 2019

Subject: Re: Handmade?

By your own admission you have false statements about your products on your website, and your position is that I owe you an apology?


To: Me

From: info@soy.com.tr

Date: 14 October 2019

Subject: Re: Handmade?

Dear Entitled customer,

We are proud to announce you that from today on, we abandon all spinning and will make all by hammer forging like just we used to prior to 2015, because you told us so, therefore rendering anything on the online shop entirely true, you are free (and invited) to come and check it for yourself anytime.

If you apologize to us sincerely for your previous obnoxious and entitled behaviour, we will resume spinning (thus not making any delays on concurrent productions for actual clients who place orders) and subsequently update the statements from the NT, AST and AT products which are mostly, not always spun.

Have the best of days and the most fun,

Sincerely,

Burak






13 Comments

  1. I would rather buy from Mr. Cesare Mazzetti, he is a true gentleman and his work is eloquent. Bottega del Rame’s planishing work is exceptionally nice.

  2. My grain of salt.
    Hello Burak and dear unhappy customer. I have to say that I have discovered your nice casseroles today because of this (novel or comments).
    I own few very old 2mm thick French and Italian casseroles, pots, pans. I also visit here in our old centro the artisan and am in Haa with the knowledge and artistry.
    I have learn a little because of you Burak. Your casseroles are beautiful and so stylish, bravo.

  3. For beauty and style, just take a look at a the 3mm Bottega del Rame “High Thickness Copper Low Saucepan”. It’s made from 3mm thick copper foil hammered over all the surface. The planishing on this Sauté pan is lovely and understated – comme cela devrait être.

    1. Terrell, I’m glad to hear that you appreciate them. I too am a big fan of Bottega del Rame and just ordered two more pieces from them. In my opinion Cesare’s work comes closest to the hand-craftsmanship of antique French copper, and I am happy to give them my business and I encourage others to do so as well.

  4. If there is false advertising, turn the company in to the appropriate authorities. Or go to the proper customs department and seek to have the wares banned from importation.

    1. Patrick, thanks for the comment. I’ve thought a lot about this and ultimately I don’t think their actions rise to the level of lawbreaking. They’ve acknowledged that their marketing communications are out of step with their current production process, and all they need to do is tighten up their messaging across their site and their Instagram presence. It’s really more of an ethical issue than a legal one, and I hope they decide it’s worth the effort to fix it — it would show me that they care about building trust with their customers.

  5. On February 25, 2020, I asked the gentle people at info@soy.com.tr this simple question:

    How did you arrive at the conclusion that silver is 17% more conductive than copper?

    I have not received a response. I do not expect one as their assertion contradicts every known source I could find that compares the termal conductivity of silver with copper.

    1. Hi John. I think their customer relationship management is just not very professional. They are working hard to reach a wider base of customers but they need to be aware that with greater visibility comes more scrutiny of their corporate statements and advertising. They’re certainly not required to correct their misstatements, but a business that reacts with indifference (or hostility) to questions or corrections does not, in my opinion, convey respect for people.

  6. I’m not too concerned about the use of these machines. I feel Soy is stunningly beautiful and high quality and worth the price for that reason alone. I would pay the price simply to display them in my home. I have had some iffy experience cooking with them, however. One silver coated frying pan stuck an egg like mad (and it goes without saying I know how to fry an egg, and this pan stuck like I’ve never experienced before). Then during gentle cleaning even after soaking, much of the silver coating came off. The pan is now unusable.
    There is something about Mazzetti pans that is simply superb, a very different style and just as good if not better quality (handles are better forged quality imo). I agree Mazzetti is a true gentleman as well. I truly hope his craft continues with another generation.

    1. Holly, thanks for your comment. Soy’s work is indeed beautiful. They offer free re-silvering — I’m sure if you send the pan back to them they would repair the lining for you.

  7. Some input from a Soy owner:

    Firstly, I think these guys deserve a break on their website wording. It feels pretty nit-picky to me to call out one specific word on their site, when it’s clear to me how their products are made. I definitely don’t get the sense that Soy is misrepresenting their products, but that they are a group of artisans who are chiefly concerned with making the best quality products they can. Let’s also recognize that forums like these can be an echo chamber, and perhaps our time is better used and more productive lifting each other up, and being grateful and constructive with those that make our hobby possible.

    My own experience with Soy has been great. I visited the factory a few years ago and was treated like an old friend, given a tour of the entire factory and process, and left with my prized skillet. So, if you do have questions about the process, I can lend as close to an unbiased take as possible. The silver lining on my piece did begin to wear, and I got in touch with the Soy team who coordinated everything to get it re-silvered right away. Now, the piece is the only fry pan I use – I’m a former Michelin-starred cook so I like to think I know what I’m talking about when it comes to performance. I get compliments on the pan from everyone who comes over. I really don’t have much bad to say.

    1. Matt, thank you for your thoughtful comment. I’ve never had the chance to visit a copper maker before — it must have been wonderful to see Soy’s factory. I imagine your enjoyment of your skillet is heightened by the connection you formed with that visit. And it is good to hear that Soy stands behind their products and helped you to get it re-silvered.

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