Renowned by locals as a great casual dining café, The Knox Made in Watson has quickly cemented itself as a café of choice in Canberra. Daniel Conroy (owner) has a passion for using local produce, local suppliers and giving back to the community, and that is resinating with their customer base.

Daniel first started the café in 2015 and has been steering the rapid growth of the business from the beginning. “In our first week we had 7 staff, by the end of week two we had 25,” said Daniel. With rapid growth comes the challenges of managing additional staff, purchasing additional resources and expanding the premises to keep up with the demand.


Jeff Brewer, a partner of MGI Joyce|Dickson, and his team have been able to assist Daniel to manage the growth of The Knox Made in Watson by providing advice and guidance tailored to the business’s needs. Daniel has worked with the MGI team for a number of years and believes, “their consistency in delivering a quality service, excellent advice and their ability to compliment my naturally risky personality, especially around investments, with a considered approach ensures they are the right fit for my business.”

The Knox Made in Watson recently expanded, adding the tenancy next door, and undertook a major refurbishment in order to keep up with the demand of their growing business. The MGI team and Jeff in particular were on hand to assist Daniel in determining the appropriate timing the business was in a financial position that the expansion and refurbishment would be successful. With Daniel saying “having access to an expert team to rely on, who regularly work with other businesses in similar positions, helps to provide the confidence needed to make significant business decisions.” With Jeff adding, “Part of our role is to identify areas for consideration that the client may not have thought of, to help them have the confidence to achieve their goals.”

The Knox Made in Watson stands out from their competitors due to their genuine care for their customers and the community. For Daniel, being in a position to give back to the community is a key reason he started his business, saying “we want to be known as a business that gives back more than we take.”

When asked what the future of The Knox Made in Watson looks like, Daniel said he “would like to cement the brand in the market and be well known for their local partnerships with not only their suppliers, but the community.” He would also like to refine the business, with the advice and assistance of the MGI team, working on key performance areas and utilising the great visibility of business performance to help stay in control, and indeed capitalise upon the rapid growth. This is an ongoing process but Daniel’s partnership with MGI gives him confidence that his goals will become a reality.

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