Three Monkeys: The Story
I took over the Three Monkeys Café (or Monkey Monkey Monkey as some still like to call it) on the 11th November 2002 – nearly 15 years ago.
In that time we have looked after over 1.5 million customers, a number that absolutely staggers me as in the early days I knew most of our customers by name.
The story of how I bought the Monkeys is one of love at first sight with a little bit of serendipity. I had just left the corporate world with the dream of buying a café in Sydney. Before doing so I thought I’d come home to Newcastle for a while. Which is when it all happened…
I knew The Monkeys well as a friend’s sister was one of the owners. From the first time I came in (which was just after it opened about 18 years ago) I loved it. At the time it amazed me that someone I knew actually owned this fantastic café. I still remember going there with a big group for the dinner that night and then going back the next morning for an incredible, if maybe a little hungover, breakfast. At a chance, weirdly coincidental catch up with Drew whose sister was the part owner he asked what I was doing these days. I said I was looking to buy a café. He said that was a coincidence, Fleur was putting The Monkeys on the market the next day. My stomach was doing nervous somersaults. All I could think at the time was I had to make sure I would be the one to buy it. So early the next morning I walked into The Monkeys as Fleur was setting up for the day ahead and asked if I could buy her café. I think she was a little surprised as she had only put the ad in the Sydney Morning Herald that morning!
After a brief bit of haggling we agreed on a price and the deal was done. I then just had to learn how to run and for that matter work in a café.
Over the last 15 years The Monkeys has been the most amazing experience of my life. It has taught me an incredible amount about food, coffee, wine & people. As much as I love food, coffee & wine it has been the people that have always made The Monkeys the special place it is. We are extremely lucky to have the most amazing customers and staff you could ask for.
But most of all The Monkeys introduced me to my wife Lizzy who would then give me the other two great loves of our lives, Atticus & Flynn, for that there are no words.
The Monkeys continues to be an amazing journey. I mean how much amazing food, great coffee & fantastic people can you fit into one small café? Apparently a lot!