Dr Toni Risson is the 2016 recipient of the Queensland Business Leaders Hall of Fame Fellowship.

Dr Risson’s research project looks to span a 100 year period from 1880 to and 1980, when Greek migrant families operated thousands of shops in city streets and country towns right across Australia. The project will focus on a number of successful business ventures in Queensland including Christie’s Café and Patty Brothers Café, which were operated by the Freeleagus and Patty families in Brisbane, and the outstanding success of Samios Foods, also based in Brisbane, which began by supplying the Greek Café trade.

Follow Toni’s research blog  greekcafesinbrisbane.wordpress.com or the links below to further investigate the remarkable stories that she uncovers.

The Greek Café: A Pathway to Success

Brisbane’s Big Splash: 4d Milk Bars in the 1930’s

The A.S.D. Cafe

Snapshot of Greek Café Shelves: Stocking up in the 1920s

The Palmos Family: Seven Shops in Thirty Years

Case Closed for Freeleagus Bros – The Paris Café is a Cafe

Picture Show Man: Chris Sourris

Dynamic Restaurant Dynasty: Michael Karlos

Oyster Shucking

Download the video transcript (PDF 15.4 KB)


Inside the Paragon Cafe at Dalby, Queensland, ca. 1936. Image courtesy of John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland

View the 2015 Fellowship recipient page.