How the West is #1 - Business Podcast

Business Podcast.png

We all know that Melbourne's Inner West is an amazing place to live, work and do business.  This business podcast series gives us a deeper understanding of what drives the people behind some of our favourite local business as they share their stories for building business success.

Local business identity Jules Brooke from "She's the Boss" is our podcast host, and her friendly and approachable style brings the best in the interviews.  The podcast is available to listen to and stream on your favourite podcast provider (Apple Podcasts, Spotify etc.), or simply go to the A Cast website to listen through your browser. 

Visit A Cast Website

Series 3

Episode 5: Sonia Lear - Campground Kitchen

Sonia's story is so compelling and her background is extraordinary. This episode should not be missed!  Born and raised in Sydney, Sonia started out as a journalist at uni and then worked as a TV producer on Today Tonight and Sunrise before moving to London where she worked for a TV network and then at Al Jazeera.

She met her French husband in London and then his job took them on an adventure to Mumbai. Sonia learnt she was pregnant with their first child and suddenly, Sonia's career came to a halt as her husband then decided he didn't want to be an engineer anymore.

So with a newborn barely out of hospital, Sonia's husband suggested that they start a Pizza Truck. With this idea now born and plans firmly in place, Sonia then became pregnant with twins! They started their food van business in St Kilda but eventually moved to Footscray and had a 'garage' in Braybrook. Then the Pandemic hit and they started offering takeaway pizzas from their 'garage', until tragedy hit the week we came out of the lockdown, and one of the trucks exploded, destroying the premises.

When their vans were destroyed, Sonia and Remy were devastated, but the wonderful community spirit in the inner west kicked in and someone started a GoFundMe campaign which raised enough for them to buy and refurbish another truck and fit out the 'garage' as a restaurant venue. Campground Kitchen was now born and only opened its doors in early 2023 but is slowly building up a loyal following. You will be so inspired by Somia's story.

Listen Now 

Episode 4: Stacey Earsman - Migrant Coffee

Stacey Earsman


Migrant Coffee is the brainchild of Stacey, and her best friend and co-founder, Melodee. Both are first generation Australians and they built the business to create a home away from home. One that would fit their lifestyles, and showcase their heritage with their innovative bagel fillings. Stacey's story, prior to starting the business is amazing - she (and Melodee) are hip hop enthusiasts from way back, and Stacey is also a flight attendant for private planes. Coming from New Zealand, Stacey and Melodee met in New York at a hip hop event and soon became best friends. Both knew that one day they would set up a business together, but first they wanted to travel, and Stacey ended up working for the royal family in the Middle East for many years before they decided to press go!

Migrant Coffee is a much-loved venue in the heart of Footscray and they use locals for their staff and supplies. Stacey's love of the inner west shines through in this great interview.

Listen Now on A Cast

Episode 3: Thin Neu - Cupcake Central


Thin (said as Tin) is an amazing guy - he's very inspirational! Born in a refugee camp in Thailand, he, his parents and extended family arrived in Australia when he was a baby, and he had an entrepreneurial streak from a young age. He talks about how his parents funded his first venture, which was to buy a car from overseas for $8000, fix it up and sold it for $14,000 and so his business career started! Thin did well at school and was always learning but it was 12 years ago that he decided to take the plunge and go out on his own. He started Cupcake Central because he saw an opportunity and had grown it to seven stores before the pandemic and lockdowns hit. In an extraordinary stroke of good luck, he had built an ecommerce store for the business and launched it only just before the lockdowns, so once he recovered from the shock, he set about to build the business online - and it worked a treat! He set up a centralised bakery in West Footscray, an area he absolutely LOVES, and employs almost exclusively from the local area. His biggest problem in the lockdowns was finding enough staff. He now makes about 85% of his turnover online and has lots of plans for growth. Watch this space! I predict great things for Thin and his team.

Listen Now on A Cast

Episode 2: Duncan Gibson - Hop Nation

Duncan Gibson Podcast


Duncan and his friend Sam, both winemakers, decided in 2015 to start a craft brewery instead, and chose Footscray because they liked the local area. At the time, neither of them had a business plan or strategy, they decided to learn along the way, and what a success they have made it! After securing a place in Yarraville, they got to work and once they had secured their permits, and a small amount of investment, they were off and running! In this interview, Duncan explains how the business has grown, he talks about his own move to Footscray to live, and how Hop Nation is expanding it's offering to include from late September 2023.
This brewery is now also on the Mornington Peninsula (although the specialty beers are brewed locally), and having survived the pandemic surprisingly well, they are now bracing themselves for the next two years when the economic conditions are predicted to be difficult. It's a great story, and one that will no doubt inspire you.

Listen Now on A Cast

Episode 1: Peta-Gai McLaughlin - Iridis Cosmetics

Peta-Gai Podcast


Peta-Gai, or PG as she is known, is an absolute powerhouse, and she has a huge community of women who absolutely adore her. In this interview, you will find out why. PG talks about why she set up her makeup company, and that she has lived in the inner west for over 20 years. Peta-Gai is very much loved in this area, and beyond, by women who love her warm and friendly manner - and her makeup genius! PG runs her famous 'glamtorials' from her Hyde St studio and works with women of all ages, focusing on their inner beauty, and helping them apply make up that suits them. She talks about how Iridis is latin for 'rainbow' and that they are an inclusive company. She and her wife Kelly run the business, and they not only teach older women how to apply makeup, but they also work with trans women to help them with their feminisation process. She discusses how she has created two online courses - one for makeup artists, and the other (about to be launched) for trans women, as well as starting a two day in-person course for trans women. PG is fiercly loyal to the inner west community and explains why she loves it so much. She also reveals a little bit about her work with celebrities and, where she hopes to be 5 years from now.

Listen Now on A Cast

Series 2

Episode 5: Tony Cavallaro - T. Cavallaro & Sons

Podcast - Tony Cavallaro.png


Tony Cavallaro is the owner of Cavallaro & Sons, the famous place in Footscray for Cannoli! Tony's story is amazing as his father started the shop in the 1950s and it is still going! In this interview, he talks about his Dad arriving from Italy on his own, how he started the shop back when Footscray was quite different, and how the family has worked in the business ever since.


In fact, Tony learned to walk in the shop as a little child! Tony also talks about his beloved Bulldogs and how he cried when he attended the Grand Final in 2016, he also talks of his pride when the family was invited to Government House for an event to celebrate businesses in the West of Melbourne. This is a great episode that offers insight into what it is like running a business for over 60 years! You'll love Tony's story.

Listen Now on A Cast

Episode 4: Fab Cammarano - Collins & Co

Untitled design - 2022-10-18T113522.989.png


Fab Cammarano is one of the partners of Collins & Co, the long-standing accounting firm in Paisley st, Footscray. Fab has worked in the business since the early 90s! It was his first job and he rose through the ranks.

In this episode, he talks about the history of the firm, how Les Collins started the business in a tiny one-room house on the same spot, and that the two-storey building was purpose-built after the company grew. He reminisces about how he has lived in Footscray for almost all his life, and what has changed over the years. Fab is very proud of the way they help their clients, and how they helped people cope with the lockdowns. This is a great story of resilience and community.

Listen Now on A Cast

Episode 3: Sheridan Rose West - MAMAWEST

Sheridan - MAMAWEST - Podcast.png


Sheridan Rose West is the founder of MAMAWEST, a hairdressing and beauty salon in Maidstone that was started during the pandemic in late 2021.

Her life story is rich with experience; leaving school at 14 to learn about makeup and hair, falling into drug addiction, and her heroic effort to come clean involving 18 months in rehab.

Her passion for helping others and her drive to succeed is a true testament to Sheridan who exudes confidence and positivity in every way possible.

The decor and ambiance at the salon is gorgeous with pastels and quirky fittings and it eclectic but really warm and friendly!

In this podcast, Sheridan talks about the three other women who she formed the co-op with and shares some business nuggets that will inspire you in your business journey.

Listen Now on A Cast

Episode 2: Kristy Busuttil - Jeongsin Taekwando

Untitled design - 2022-10-13T105807.345.png

Kristy is amazing! Born and bred in Footscray, Kristy started learning Taekwondo at 9 years of age, while she lived at school with her parents who were cleaners/caretakers. She continued to compete, eventually going on to win gold at the Commonwealth Games in 2006. Wow! After the games, she had gone as far as possible in the sport, and wanted to give back, so she started offering lessons at Footscray YMCA a couple of days a week whilst working full time.

This grew and grew until she had to open her own dedicated premises, in Commercial St, Maidstone in 2017.

Kristy talks about the close community she has fostered working with disabled, autistic, and trans people as well as 'mainstream' athletes and the huge difference it has made to their lives. She also shares what it was like to grow up in the area and how it has changed over the years, as well as some of her favourite local spots.

She definitely gets fulfilment from her work! This interview is incredibly inspiring and when you hear what Kristy is doing to help people, you will love her.

Listen now on A Cast

Episode 1: Pradeep Tiwari - West Footscray Traders Association / Bharat Traders

Untitled design - 2022-10-13T102919.310.png

Pradeep Tiwari is a legend in West Footscray and for good reason! As the president of the West Footscray Traders Association and the founder of The Festival of Lights and other Footscray festivals, Pradeep is really making a difference. He has been living in West Footscray along with his family for over 30 years. His father migrated from India to West Footscray in the 60s and worked in Olex Cables, and Pradeep came over when he was three years old.

Educated locally, he was passed down the family business of Bharat Traders by his parents, who dealt with spices and other Indian products. It started in Barkly Street in 1991 and has since expanded in food supply and various other products.

Pradeep is passionate about connecting the community - and he loves a good party - so he has big plans for the area, and the festivals, to expand. You will absolutely love his passion and his vision for WeFo! An episode not to miss.

Listen Now on A Cast


Series 1

Episode 5: Dianne Louka and Maria Chasomeris - Dianne's Dips

Untitled design - 2022-10-13T105923.971.png
Dianne Louka, founder of Dianne's Dips in Footscray now has three generations of the family working on the business! After starting the business from her home in 1981, Dianne has been supplying fresh dips and dolmades to local restaurants, cafes, and from her market stalls at Vic and Prahran Markets ever since! A mother of 5, originally from Cyprus, Dianne created the business as a source of income when her kids were small.

As they grew, they have all been welcomed into the business, with the daughters working in the factory with Dianne, and the boys working in the family-owned delicatessens. Dianne and her daughter Maria explain what a tight family they are, their pride in their delicious food, all made from Dianne's original recipes from 40 years ago, and how they have seen the area change over the last 40-odd years. This is a compelling story and one you won't want to miss!

Listen now on A Cast

Episode 4: Celestine Hade - Botany Essentials

Untitled design - 2022-10-13T105859.276.png
Wow! Celestine Hade is amazing! As the founder and CEO of Botany Essentials, which she started 24 years ago, Celestine is now exporting to over 70 countries globally. Her products are 100% natural with the highest quality ingredients and they smell simply divine. Celestine grew up in Queensland and set up Botany Essentials when she was interested in aromatherapy as a young woman.

When you hear about the two years of research she did before starting the business you will be amazed. Her story is super inspiring. She is also the Chair of the council's business group and she is actively supporting some great social justice initiatives around Maribyrnong too. Who knew we had such a fascinating and successful woman in our local area?!

Listen now on A Cast

Episode 3: Callum Urch - Ecosite

Untitled design - 2022-10-13T105836.236.png
Callum Urch, founder and CEO of Ecosite, has an amazing business, and it is the only one of it's kind in Australia.. He has created eco-friendly, solar powered site offices and caravans fitted out for events and more. Callum started the business when, as a tradie working for big infrastructure projects like the tunnel, and other construction projects, he realised that there was a gap in the market.

Creating on-site offices and toilets was a draining process of sourcing all the elements that were required from different companies. Often they were hard to fit into the site itself and he talks about the guys painting the Westgate Bridge who used to have to walk down to ground level to have their lunch or go to the toilet. And on top of that, the on-site offices were all being powered by dirty old diesel generators. He knew he could do better.

After growing up in Kingsville, he talks about what it was like for him as a child (no other kids to play footy with!) as well as how his business has grown using local suppliers and tradespeople. You will be totally inspired by his business and his vision for the future.

Listen now on A Cast

Episode 2: Louisa Ong - Tilegne Therapy

Podcast web image -Louisa Ong.png
Louisa Ong is a Speech Therapist and is the founder of Tilegne Therapy in Footscray. Tilegne is an Allied Health provider so they have a number of different therapists covering different disciplines but the standout is their new garden therapy spaces for children, disabled and elderly patients. Louisa grew up in Singapore as the eldest of 5, and left her family for the first time to study at Flinders University in South Australia.

She then went back to Singapore for over 7 years before finally returning here in 2016. Louisa loves working in Footscray because of the diversity of cultures and the melting pot of people in the area. She talks about some of her favourite restaurants (hello Roti Road on Barkly St!) and you will love her enthusiasm for our lovely patch of Melbourne.

Listen now on A Cast

Episode 1: John Ng - The Money Jar Concept

Podcast web image - John Ng.png

John Ng, based in Yarraville, is the owner of a financial services and mortgage business called The Money Jar Concept, he's also the founder of the Facebook Group, Humans of SKY (which stands for Seddon Kingsville Yarraville and now includes all of the Inner West). John, originally from Singapore, moved to the area with his wife and youngest son when he was looking to reduce his commute to work, and his son was ready for Primary School. He started the Humans of Sky concept initially to utilise his journalism skills, and as a way to get to know the people in the local area.

He's now recorded the stories of 150 'humans', which you can find on his website, John's finance business works on referrals and word of mouth (mainly) which have sprung from his interviews so there is a nice synergy there! John is also the Maribyrnong Citizen of The Year 2020 and he talks about winning that award in this episode. John is such a charming, friendly and funny guy, you'll love this interview!

Listen now on A Cast