A little Star Wars themed coffee shop in Newcastle, Australia, hit the ground running when they invited local 501st members to a pre-opening photo shoot. The Empire Coffee Co, with its Imperial allegiance, invited a squad of stormtroopers, an officer to keep them in line, and a mischievous Jawa to come in and try, and also make, some coffees two days before the official opening.
One of the stormtroopers, Glen, the owner of the coffee shop, decided it was so much fun he’d continue to wear his stormtrooper suit twice a week at work and also bring in his toys to fill every spare space.
The local paper thought it was newsworthy, and social media thought it was fantastic, and thus the adventure began! But it wasn’t too long, just a few weeks in fact, that it became apparent that the small shop was far too small.
“It was pretty much just a takeaway coffee bar, with no tables or seating. And Star War fans were traveling in from long distances and just wanted to kick back and relax,” says Glen.
Then 7 weeks after starting they opened on their first Saturday, and the response was overwhelming. Which could be because of the 501st Legion, Rebel Legion and other cosplaying enthusiasts turning up en masse, including an 8 foot tall Chewbacca. And a string quartet made an appearance at midday to play the Imperial March. The spectacle occurred in front and along the side of the corner shop, with customers lining up to get into the shop for a hot brew, including the fan favourite Hoth Chocolate.
A week later Glen made the decision to temporarily close the shop, to begin looking for a larger premises, that would adequately service the fans, not just Star Wars, but also the Trekkies, Browncoats and other followers of sci-fi, fiction, and fantasy franchises.
A run down of their aims, plans for the future and the crowdfunding campaign can be found at