This is not the end, see you soon!

This is not the end, see you soon!

Bittersweet News - Glee Coffee on Darby

Opening your own cafe has to be one of the most exciting moments in your life. You're filled with a mix of nerves and joy. So many thought processes. You tell yourself: This is going to be so much work. This is going to be so much fun! It's not unlike having a baby. Glee Coffee on Darby in truth, is our first 'child', the oldest and original coffee spot in our business.

It's with bittersweet emotions, and literal tears in our eyes, that we announce that as of December 30, you will no longer be able to frequent this little piece of Newcastle's coffee history. The past six years have changed us, and Newcastle, incredibly. Our lease on this little shop of memories is expiring. Rather than renewing for another round, we are sensing there are new and exciting opportunities ahead of us that will better add to the landscape of Newcastle coffee.

Darby Street has always been well known for coffee, retail and hospitality. It has been such an incredible honour for us to join the beautiful family of local businesses who have made us feel so at home.

I remember walking along the street in January 2011, and seeing the for lease sign in the shop window with my then fiancée, Beth. The both of us at the same time knew that this little shop was the future of our business.

I remember the opening day being the same day as our 300-person, carnival-themed engagement party.

I remember the first year of getting to know Novocastrians with their fussy coffee drinking habits, and local tendencies.

I remember there only being 5 spots of great coffee in Newcastle a number that has now grown to a healthy 30 cafes serving great coffee with pride!

I remember sleepless nights renovating the store because we had to open the next day, "the regulars need this tomorrow" we would tell ourselves, as we watched the sunrise on a new half-finished reno.

I remember Pat Solvyns (The Branches Coffee Roasters) walking in and offering his fine services to our business and the breath of fresh air he was to Darby Street.

I remember Nathaniel, his glorious swan pouring, and customer service!

I remember "Bongo John" asking for a few coins most days. I remember the sad day when he passed away. (I love that in Newcastle, we celebrate people even if they can't play music well.)

I remember naming customers after famous celebrities or after their coffee order (Miccolo). I remember when customers would give the staff nicknames (The Breeze.)

I remember working crazy hours when my brother, and partner in coffee crime, went through chemotherapy for the second time.

I remember some weeks being a struggle to just get through.

And, I remember the first week we made a profit!

As a business we have, and always will be, about coffee + people. We are so blessed by the friendships that have been made within the four walls of Glee Coffee on Darby. It's great to know that it was a safe place for staff to grow and develop their craft and passions. All of our previous managers are still in the industry, either as cafe owners, coffee roasters or in cafe management. We are so proud to think that we could play a small part in showing you how beautiful coffee can be.

To the Darby Street business community, we will really, really miss you. Thank you all.

Thank you to Anthony from Three Monkeys, and Gino from Deluca's for being the first cafe owners on the street to welcome us to the neighbourhood. Thank you for regularly ordering espressos from us, even when you could make your own in your own shops. To Kevin from Jean Bas, thank you for organising the Darby St Cluster and ordering Jean's coffee everyday. To Coffee Finance, Betty Mim, High Tea With Mrs Woo, Abicus; and the countless other traders, thank you for your belief in our coffee and business from the early days!

I remember so many more people and happenings that I will always treasure about Glee Coffee on Darby, but the most bittersweet memory I'm about to experience, is to see that same “for lease” sign back in that same window we walked past 6 years ago. Staring through that window we saw more than a shop. We saw a community, a family. We saw new friends, first dates, first steps, laughter and tears.

Darby Street, we love you. Always have, always will. Thank you so much.

We'd do it all again.

This is not the end. See you soon.

Chris Gleeson

Co-Founder, Glee Coffee Roasters

p.s. FINAL FREE COFFEES all day December 30. Come say your goodbyes, and let us say ours!

Our next coffee adventure awaits us. Stay tuned. Much love.

Chris Gleeson