Cookbook store profile – Scrumptious Reads

It’s time for another installment in the EYB series highlighting independent cookbook stores. Discover (or get reacquainted with) a store near your home – or plan a new target destination when you travel.

To keep this feature vital, we’re asking our members to help us. We already know of many great stores, (you can view the full list here), but we’d love to learn about more – especially those treasured by our members. So please share the names of independent cookbook stores that you know, love, admire, or are just plain crazy about. Add a comment to this posting, or email us at with the name, address, and owner (if you know it). We’ll do the rest.


This month we travel to Brisbane, Australia to profile Scrumptious Reads, owned and managed by Julie Tjiandra and Reyna Portilwas. You know this place is home to cookbook lovers just by perusing the store’s website. The home page features several food quotes by the likes of Laurie Colwin (“No one who cooks, cooks alone”), Julia Child (“If you’re afraid of butter, use cream”), and Federico Fellini (“Life is a combination of magic and pasta”). Scrumptious Reads

Therefore it comes as no surprise to learn that “Scrumptious Reads was borne out of a love of books and food. What do you do when your culinary book collection is getting larger by the minute? Open a culinary specialty bookstore!” Scrumptious Reads doesn’t specialise in any particular area, instead choosing to represent a broad spectrum of cookbooks. Julie and Reyna graciously responded to EYB’s questions about their store.Scrumptious Reads cookbook store

Two cookbook stores have closed down recently – The Cookbook Store in Toronto and Salt and Pepper Books in Maryland.  How does Scrumptious Reads stay competitive in the current trading environment, where online stores offer low prices and free home delivery?

We try to stay competitive a few different ways:

  • Giving the best service and up to date information to our customers
  • Continually evolving as a business
  • Aligning our brand with other brands for maximum exposure
  • Continually hosting interesting events in store
  • We try to be as up to date as possible with upcoming titles and chef tours

Why do the customers in your store prefer to come to Scrumptious Reads rather than large general bookstores or online shopping?

We provide bespoke service and unique titles. We are not driven by the mass market.

How did your cookbook store come about?

There was a gap in the specialty book market in Brisbane and Scrumptious Reads was created to fill that gap. We are not just a culinary bookstore, but also a hub for those who are gastronomically curious to meet and exchange ideas.

What are the big sellers at Scrumptious Reads?

Yotam Ottolenghi and Jude Blereau books have been our biggest sellers so far. But as we carry unique titles, we are constantly trying to keep up with finding something different for our customers.

Do you import many books from overseas?

Yes we do, as there are a lot of titles not available in Australia.

If EYB members have a chance to visit Scrumptious Reads in the near future, what kind of events will they find planned?

Upcoming events include:

An Evening High Tea with a Twist
Chocolate & Tea pairing
Rooftop honey workshop
Whisky & Food pairing
Armanac & Cognac evening
and more!

You can visit Scrumptious Reads at Shop 5-6, 19 James St., Brisbane QLD 4006.

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One Comment

  • boardingace  on  May 17, 2014

    Love this series! And the classes/events at this cookbook store look … well, delicious ๐Ÿ™‚

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