The smell of freshly ground coffee is one that arouses feelings, “this is going to be a good start to the day”. Now imagine that knowing the first sip you take, also contributes to another person’s good start to the day. That the coffee you purchased was helping another person in your community. This is exactly what In Other Good News delivers.

    I spoke with Andy Fithall, their founder, to learn what drove him to create a business that makes a difference and his family’s online TV show that kept people entertained during lockdown.

    In Other Good News, otherwise known as IOGN, is the classic tale of rising from the ashes, forged from times of adversity. Andy recounts the exact date, as if it was yesterday, on the 20th of March 2020, he was laid off from a city job he had only just started. A time where our new covid realities were just setting in. He was feeling the dark cloud of anxiety and depression setting in, as he recognised that finding a new job was going to be a hell of a lot harder. On top of that, he was not alone in this plight. That many others in our community would soon be battling a position similar to his. Rather than be swallowed up in these overwhelming feelings, he chose a different path, a different approach, “If I couldn’t find work, I should do something to help the community.”

    With family support from his wife Esther and two kids Rueben and Sonny, they came up with a number of ideas. One of these ideas was starting a TV broadcast telling good news stories happening in the community. A natural fit, as it leveraged Andy’s background as a sound engineer, and the equipment they already had at home. So, they set to it, searching the neighbourhood collecting good news stories.

    Since then, they produced over 40 different shows from ‘Good People Doing Good Things’ with interviews of community minded groups doing positive acts, to their famous, light hearted, live news broadcasts, with Rueben who was 8 years old at the time (soon to turn 10 in August) as co-anchor, and Sonny who was probably the youngest producer and technician of all time in Australia, at just 6 years of age. Many of the segments on the show were in fact created by the kids, like “Reuben’s Joke Of The Day”, or “Sonny’s Brain Busters” coming out with classics such as, “If you drop soap on the ground, is the ground then clean or is the soap dirty?” Reuben and Sonny would come up with their own segments, with executive production and ultimate editing decisions by Andy.

    Andy explains that the name “In Other Good News” was a sarcastic line used in his family growing up. That his mum or dad would say it, to announce a bit or crap news, like “In other good news, the toaster just broke”. It is an ironic play to the line, where he has turned the phrase on its head, and made it into a genuine sentiment and name for the show and business.

    So where does the coffee come in?

    Well, Andy’s love affair with coffee may have started off roughly, with his gateway coffee a cappuccino with two sugars from donut king, but it evolved from there. He did not know what he did not know. He did not realise there was better coffee out there until he started going to better coffee shops. With his first real coffee being introduced as he hung out with his university mates in local cafes. Incidentally, it’s where, back in 2003, he met his friend, also a sound engineer, who started a cafe with amazing premium coffee. Andy started to work there, and a whole new world opened up to him, as he learnt what it meant to make the perfect brew.

    Fast forward back to 2020, IOGN was consistently broadcasting through Victoria’s first lockdown. They thought their good news would be better served with a good coffee. So with sponsorship from a fantastic little roaster and coffee shop, Little Gecko in Newport, they landed their first broadcast sponsorship, who supplied the coffee for the driveway coffee cart.

    Then, they took it one step further, they thought to use their platform to raise money for community good. Not only were Victorians left facing the hardships of Covid, but we had only just left a vicious season of bush fires, leaving many families in a vulnerable situation. Foodbank Victoria, just located in Yarraville, were a group that were really making a difference to families.

    So IOGN did their first live telethon broadcast ‘Funkin’ 4 Foodbank’, with local cover band The Hansen Reserves, and with special guest hosts Dan and Dani from ‘The Block’ which raised over $6000. Given the significant success of the event and the coffee cart, Andy was charged with the feeling they could do more.

    “We wanted to do something that could raise money ongoing, and selling coffee was the perfect fit. We drink good coffee, and vulnerable Victorians get fed, it’s a beautifully simple equation”

    And so, the social enterprise side of IOGN was born. They sell the “Grindhog Day” coffee beans, and deliver straight to your door. A portion of the profits from the sale of the coffee beans goes to charity. To date, they have raised over $10,000 for Foodbank, equivalent to 20,000 meals.

    Now, that is good news.

    You can order your beans for delivery to your door from their website:

    Athena Thompson
    Athena Thompson
    Athena Thompson is a professional problem solver by day (business consultant at, and supreme question asker by night. Exploring Melbourne’s west one curiosity at a time.

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