Newcastle Herald

Quality is relative for cafe venture

Author: with NEIL GOFFET
Date: 18/04/2011
Words: 761
Source: NCH
          Publication: Newcastle Herald
Section: Business
Page: 20
OWNERS Chris Johnston and Steph Whitehead want a reputation for efficiency in their new coffee shop Good Brother that opened in King Street last week.

The couple has owned and operated Suspension at Islington for three years and decided to tackle Newcastle's CBD market.

Chris said the name of the shop came because it's the "good brother" of their coffee shop family, compared to the "black sheep" of the family, Suspension.

"It was just so there's a link there between the two," he said.

"We want a reputation for efficiency and we have set the shop up to get a real flow through the place.

"We appreciate people in the CBD are time-poor so we can get them good-quality takeaway coffee quickly and there is also plenty of room to come and chill out as well."

Chris said the focus was on coffee but there was also quality home-cooked food and tasty muffins for a snack on the run.

"The food is really good but it's simple and easy so people can be in and out as quickly as they need to be," he said.

Steph and Chris will divide their time between the two shops and Good Brother will open from Monday to Friday initially and perhaps weekends in the future.


INTERNATIONAL rating agency Moody's Investors Service has acknowledged the University of Newcastle's strong financial position with an Aa2 credit rating.

The high-grade, long-term rating is the third-highest on the Moody's scale and university vice-chancellor Nicholas Saunders said it demonstrated an excellent work ethic.

Moody's found the university had a sound operating performance and healthy cash reserves.

"Supporting our solid financial position is strong performance across all areas of the university," Professor Saunders said.

"Our focus now is to ensure we continue on our path of sustainable growth."

The university had record student enrolments last year of 35,500, began a $20 million project at the Ourimbah campus and also began the $100 million student accommodation project in Newcastle.


FORMER Hunter Development Corporation general manager Craig Norman is working around the corner from former Hunter Business Chamber chief executive Peter Shinnick in Melbourne.

Craig is a director at Victoria's Department of Human Services in Lonsdale Street and Peter is the general manager of Careers Australia Group in Flinders Street.


MANAGING a site project at the $470 million Charlestown Square development was proof that Jess Berry deserved to win the 2010 HunterNet Apprentice of the Year award.

Jess is a boilermaker with RCR Energy and managed the project as soon as he completed his apprenticeship with Hunter TAFE.

"As well as the apprentice of the year award, seven apprentices and trainees and one host employer received awards," HunterNet training company manager Murray Christie said.

"Each year it gets harder and harder to pick a winner due to the high calibre of the nominees."


HUNTER Business Chamber president Brett Derwin said the appointment of Wayne Bennett as Newcastle Knights coach from next year would benefit Hunter business.

One of the greatest coaches in the history of rugby league, Bennett signed last week a four-year deal to take over from Rick Stone.

"This signing is the sign of a well-structured business strategy and, together with the certainty created by the privatisation of the club through the Tinkler Sports Group, is welcome news to the business community that supports the club," Mr Derwin said.


VBD Chartered Accountants is holding its annual charity golf day on Friday, May 27, at Merewether Golf Club.

The beneficiaries will be the Hunter Medical Research Institute and the Rotary Club of Newcastle, and $15,000 was raised last year.

"Generous prizes and support from local businesses is vital," VBD director Greg Valentine said.

"Last year we raised over $15,000 and if we're to beat that this year, we need to up the ante and get more businesses involved."



Tomorrow: Newcastle Business Club; monthly luncheon, speakers Tony Mowbray and Robert Fuller, Harbourview Function Centre, 12.30-2pm.

Wednesday: Hunter Business Chamber; WorkCover Workshop - Fit For Work, conference room at chamber, 7.30-9.30am, RSVP today at hunterbusiness

Friday May 6: Hunter Valley Research Foundation; Hunter Economic Update breakfast, speakers Alan Langford (chief economist Bankwest) and Simon Deeming (HVRF), Newcastle Panthers, 7-9am, RSVP 4969 4566 or email

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