Behind the Business | Little Black Pug Cafe
Updated: Nov 21, 2019
Little Black Pug Cafe is new to the scene, and it could easily become your favourite place to take your dog to enjoy some time out. Located in Mount Gravatt East and owned by Josh and Louise Daly the café is named after their two black pugs Bowie and Mate.
Josh and Louise left their jobs as scientists and they are now following their passion for food, sustainability, coffee and all things pug. Little Black Pug offers canine-named meals for people and an entire dog menu including meatballs, puppicino's and Hugo’s Ice-creamery Ice Cream.
For Louise, enjoying food has been a big part of her life. Her family is from Hong Kong and she spent many years living in Singapore. Both are places where food is a massive part of culture and upbringing. Her love of cooking started in grade 10 when she discovered a library full of cookbooks. From there she started to watch TV cooking shows and she began experimenting in the kitchen. Louise noted that Josh hadn’t always been a foodie, so Louise has been a huge motivator for him. Prior to their meeting, Josh hadn’t even tried anything as exotic as Ben and Jerry’s ice-cream. But with Louise by his side, he has now ventured into the deep depths of food – from pate to frog legs and many more!
Sustainability is a big part of Josh and Louise’s agenda. They offer a 50c discount on any dine-in coffee. “Most people grab a takeaway coffee and five minutes later they chuck their used cup in the bin,” Josh says. “That contributes to billions of cups every year. It’s a huge issue. So we’ve really tried to encourage people to sit, just for their coffee at least, and then go.”
As former scientists, owning a business is a completely new experience. However as you would imagine, the duo love gaining new knowledge. Prior to Little Black Pugs launch they simply kept reading, discussing and researching everything there was to know about owning a cafe. Louise laughed and said, “I am a perfectionist, so second to actually finding the location, the renovations were the hardest part. I am never going to paint anything myself again. I think one wall was painted about 5 times!”
There was never any question about making their cafe dog friendly. “Mum always said that I wanted a dog as soon as I could walk. I spent years begging and begging for a dog.” However their family lived in a small apartment in Singapore. One that was much too small for a dog. So her Dad promised they would get a dog when they moved to Australia.
When they moved, there still wasn’t a dog for Louise. So after Josh and Louise got engaged, she went and picked up Bowie. “Bowie was all I ever wanted. I waited 20 years for him!” Bowie and Mate work hard at the cafe, completing ‘shifts’ two days per week. Though I am not sure that enjoying time in the sunshine and getting pats from cafe patrons counts as working!
The pair absolutely loves working for themselves and they have found their decision to own their own business to be so much more rewarding. They have crafted an extremely positive environment and a team of people who understand their ethos. “I love it. There’s just something about working for yourself on a day to day basis that creates more meaning in your life and for your livelihood. And for my staff!” The team are dreaming big. Their grand plan is to move the cafe to a free-standing Queenslander and build a dog park in the backyard to really up their dog-friendly level!
Little Black Pug Cafe 1297 Logan Road, Mount Gravatt East 0468 385 720
Hours: Mon to Fri 6am–2pm Sat & Sun 7am–1pm