Back to blogs

Open for Business: Vic Books

March 1, 2022

In this episode of our Open for Business series, we chatted to Jessica Godfrey, born and bred Wellingtonian who looks after Vic Books. Great coffee, tasty cabinet treats and excellent reading. Plus, they have a great collection of cookbooks - some serious food for thought!

Jessica Godfrey, General Manager at Vic Books

Tell us about yourself: I’m Jess, I am GM at Vic Books – cafes and bookshops. I am born and bred Wellington, in fact I can see the house I grew up in, the building I work in and the only flat I’ve ever lived in from my current house. Pretty much lived in a 2 km radius my whole life – but what better city to be stuck in!!!!


Tell us what makes you special? Books, real food and great coffee – all in one place. Dream job. Dream spot.


What support would you love to see from your guests? Our Pipitea bookstore and café has had to close due to the protests. It would really help us if Wellington could come visit us at our Kelburn café Monday to Friday, 8am-4pm – or if that’s not possible we’d really appreciate some support online! We have an excellent website with all the latest fiction and non-fiction and a great range of cookbooks too.

What are the favourites on your menu? One of our chefs, Eva, is a fermentation specialist and she makes the best kimchi. Our kimchi and cheese toasties are hard to beat! The pickled daikon in our chicken rolls make them unlike anywhere else. Our Cardamon buns on Thursday – to die for! The food is simple here, but real and so tasty. Eva is from the South West of France which might be why her pissaladière is so good too. In summer, I always drink cà phê đá– iced milky coffee with a touch of sweetened condensed milk – try it, it’s the best!!

Where are you picking up lunch/dinner/brunch when you're off work? I go to Mason or Next Door every Saturday afternoon for a Paloma and snacks and Ludo’s warm service. I love meeting friends for a Belladonna at Romeo's. I live close to Rita and Salty Pidgin – so I feel like home is in the best part of Wellington. Tanase’s Istanbul Eggs at August is a welcome Sunday morning treat. Highwater and Ortega are two other favourites. Eating out is my favourite pastime

Any quotes or thoughts you want to share? Personal relationships can get really strained at times like this. Sometimes it can be helpful to remember to blame Covid for the stress and the reactions to that stress, rather than the people around you. We are all, to the most part, just doing our best in really hard times. (Or maybe I just want to quote Hot Priest and say “this too shall pass” )