Joe Dawson was a proprietor of multiple businesses from the late 1970s to the early 1980s. His "empire" included Dawson's Cafe, a bakery and two other bakery outlets.

Joe started building a new shop at 12 Rosamund Street in July 1978. While at the site he was questioned as to what the unit would be used for by Rita Fairclough, manager of The Kabin next door, who had a cafe in her back room. Not wanting to create a rivalry between the two businesses, Joe told her that he was building an outlet for his bakery on Armitage Street, the third in his chain. In attempt to ruin his new rival he sent in Environmental Health Officer Mr Healy after a claim was made by Joe that there was no toilets in The Kabin. Curious to know who made the claim, Len Fairclough asked councillor Alf Roberts to find out who reported them. Alf then discovered it was Joe, who was at that time converting the premises next door into a cafe, even though he had told the Faircloughs that he was opening a bakery. After finding out, Len headed over to see Joe and attacked him. Following the skirmish Joe threatened Len with the police. Rita managed to stop Len from attacking Joe further.

During the following month, Dawson's Cafe opened with Emily Bishop as manageress, Janice Stubbs as a waitress and Mrs. Bolton as the cook. The first day was slow - much to Joe's disappointment. Janice did not last long though as she soon started dating married man Ray Langton. Eventually Ray finished with her and embarrassed by her choices she left Weatherfield. Her job at the cafe was taken by Gail Potter.

Joe remained in control of the cafe until early 1980 when he sold it to Jim Sedgewick. The name was then changed to Jim's Cafe and turned into a "Trucker's Caff". Emily soon left the cafe after Jim took over as she preferred it as it was, a simple tea shop.

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