Newbies in Cafe

Newbies in the Cafe by Dr Judy Gregory – a book about Australia’s love affair with the independent cafe.

The cafe dream is widespread and compelling: It’ll be like hosting a permanent coffee catch-up with friends. The best parts of every cafe you’ve ever visited. And it will all be yours.

Most people captured by the cafe dream recognise that hospitality is hard work. But they see it as honest work – real work, with a stable income. Profit margins are guaranteed if you understand basic maths. After all, it’s not rocket science. There’s a cafe on every corner, and they’re all busy. How hard can it be?

Then answer, of course, is that it can be very, very hard. Hard, but not impossible.

Cafe success or failure seems near-impossible to predict. While pre-planning, industry experience, and access to capital are all helpful, there’s no good evidence they’re determinants of success. If there’s a ‘magic ingredient’, it remains elusive.

Newbies in the Cafe is a book of stories about cafe dreamers who have taken the plunge into cafe ownership following a successful career doing something else. They share their experiences to help other cafe newbies learn from their successes and mistakes.

In Newbies in the Cafe, Judy Gregory gives an honest assessment of the cafe life. She describes her own experiences and failings as a cafe owner (The Letter Lounge Cafe & Gifts in Brisbane’s Red Hill) and profiles 10 other cafe owners from around Australia. The book ends with their combined lessons – a baker’s dozen of practical ideas that will help the next generation of cafe newbies along the path to success.

Newbies in the Cafe is a positive, realistic overview of the cafe industry, packed with advice for people who are chasing their own cafe dream.


Copies of Newbies in the Cafe are available now (PDF, ePub or mobi format). Please contact Judy Gregory on 0431 909 684 or by email at

Praise for Newbies in the Cafe

Congrats on a fantastic book!! From the layout, the real stories with great insights, the quality of writing and finally the last chapter that brings it all together, it is perfect. This book will certainly help many people understand what the industry is all about and provide some great insights and foresights. I believe it should be a must for all to read BEFORE they enter the world of cafe ownership so that they move into it with their eyes wide open.

~ Phillip Di Bella, Chairman, Di Bella Group of Companies~

In my 15-year cafe journey I have never found such complete and concise information all in one place. Brutally honest and refreshingly real, the stories are captivating, sometimes tragic, yet filled with lessons for the next wave of cafe newbies. Finally, a ‘warts and all’ work to counter the fable that’s sold as … The Cafe Dream. If you’re contemplating a cafe then read it! … (SEVERAL TIMES!!).

~ Simon O’Brien, Cafe Coach, Kickstart Coffee Shop ~

The journey into cafe ownership can be a dream come true or your worst nightmare. While no one can predict how their own journey will turn out, they can learn from the hindsight of others who’ve trodden the track. Reading this book is like having brutally honest conversations with 11 cafe owners. You’ll learn the secrets to their success, the reasons for their fast track to failure, the pitfalls they could have avoided, the surprises they encountered along the way, whether buying an existing cafe or opening one from scratch was the best option for them – and so much more, right down to whether they were cut out to be a cafe owner or not. Each story is so engaging; you feel you’re on the journey already – learning what working in a cafe is really like, empowered to make informed decisions about your own cafe. In the last chapter, the author (one of the cafe owners featured) draws together what she and the 10 others have learnt – in 20 pages of the best advice you’re ever likely to get about running a cafe.

~ Christine Cottrell, Author of the BARISTA BIBLE and TRENDING CAFES Brisbane & Beyond ~

One of the greatest factors that affects success in this industry is support. This book not only provides this from examples of
people in the industry today, but is extremely easy to digest, gives professional insight and guidance – for the newcomer right
through to the elite.

~ Joshua Clifton, Author of THE HOSPITALITY SURVIVAL GUIDE ~

About the author
Dr Judy Gregory is a Brisbane-based writer, editor, researcher, and former cafe dreamer. Newbies
in the Cafe is the book she wishes she had read before embarking on her cafe dream.

Interviews and more information
Dr Judy Gregory | Ph: 0431 909 684 | Email:


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