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National Museum of Australia

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Peters & Co. order book with Busy Bee Cafe logo

2010.0014.0113

Peters & Co. order book with Busy Bee Cafe logo

Object information

Physical description

An unused 'PETERS & CO.' order book printed with a Busy Bee logo. The book has brown card covers and brown paper pages alternating with a printed page and a blank page, and there are two loose sheets of carbon paper inserted at the back. There are one hundred pages. The print reads 'PETERS & CO. / 242 CONADILLY STREET / Phone 221...'.

Statement of significance

This collection consists of the fixtures and fittings of the Busy Bee Café, Gunnedah, NSW. It also includes examples of operational equipment such as a juicer, a hot drink dispenser, crockery, glasses, milkshake containers, and tea pots, many of which are engraved or embossed with the café name and logo, as well as paper-based material such as signs, menus and ledgers containing staff records and details of orders from suppliers.

The Busy Bee Café began operating in the 1920s. From 1933, it was run by Lambros Zantiotis, a Greek immigrant from the island of Kythera, and his family until the café closed in 2004. Greek cafés marked the beginning of the Americanisation of Australian eating habits, introducing milk shakes, sundaes and sodas to their Australian customers, but were identified as 'Greek' because of the nationality of the owners. The popularity of the cafés was due to their good food, good service and extended opening hours. The Greek café was part of the Australian rural landscape for much of the twentieth century but only a few now remain in operation and opportunities to collect around this aspect of rural social life are rapidly diminishing.

Object information

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