CITY STORIES Hear the inspiring local stories on the Makers x Traders Audio Trail, go behind the scenes with the people and places that gives this City its unique flavour.
Come on a tour of Newcastle’s creative business scene and meet 16 incredible local characters from across the City. Whether you’re a local or just visiting, join host Katerina Skoumbas to hear the stories that bring the Newcastle Treasure Map to life.
E1 • Pride Swim
Where do you start when it comes to designer swimwear? Meet Steven Fleming, an international heritage architect who discovered a hidden talent for designing and tailoring swimwear. Set up in a terrace studio overlooking Newcastle Ocean Baths, Pride Swim is a brave new world of being – made here in your hometown and favourite city, Newcastle.
E8 • Make Space
What kind of work goes into an artist-run space? Think contemporary retail store with work stations and gallery in one open beautiful place. In an heritage train terminus known as The Station, discover Make Space – a treasury of textiles, ceramics, jewellery, artworks and woodworks, all crafted by local makers and artists. Meet ceramicist Ali Sobel-Read who shares her own making process and just how much space this business makes for everyone.
E15 • Timeless Textiles
Anne Kempton is the dynamic woman behind Timeless Textiles, Australia’s only commercial fibre art gallery. In just 10 years, it has become an institution in Newcastle. Set in a historic part of town, discover the workshops and projects, the artists and artisans of this very hand and heart centred creative practice, and the meaningful experiences this art form offers to the community.
E25 • Mr Sister Coffee
Coffee is a many-splendored thing, from the science of the bean prep to the frothy love hearts that you love to sip! The siblings behind Mr Sister Coffee know their coffee tech but above all they know how it tastes just right. Garth Buchanan shares their story in line with the ebb and flow of the city’s development, landing them right in the middle of the hottest part of town.
E26 • Newcastle Afoot
Imagine knowing so much about a city that you could lead your own walking tour company? That’s just what Becky did. Needing a sea change after doing time as a justice worker in Melbourne, she moved to Newcastle and literally became a local overnight! Becky runs Newcastle Afoot – she tells us what it’s like being a tour guide and how it can lead you to having the best time in town, even as a local.
C2 • Piazza Mercato
Stepping into Piazza Mercato’s historic bank building space instantly transports you to a piazza in Italy. The charm, the atmosphere! Alfonso Muras offers the Newcastle community a wonderful taste of Italian cuisine as well as a new live music hub for local musicians to perform original sounds, creating a new scene in a very mediterranean way.
W9 • Rudderless Records
No fire or pandemic will keep Newcastle’s premiere record store down! Rudderless Records is a space for music and culture… but most of all vinyl. With a personal collection of over 5,000 records that he started at the age of 15, local musician Ben Leece knows a thing or two about them. In a location that was severely damaged by fire in 2018, Ben re-launches this music business under the guidance of original owner and beloved music guru ‘Dunny’.
C25 • The Colour Bug
Shiv Maheshwari is a well-travelled Indian-born Australian who spent half her life living in East Africa. In love with the beauty, boldness and quirkiness of African fashion and recycled art, she opened The Colour Bug in Newcastle to support her artisans with sustainable employment – showcasing their talent whilst making business that treads lightly on the environment.
W10 • Rundle Tailoring
In the world of fast fashion, how does a tailoring business survive over 100 years in Newcastle? With a prosperous history and a philosophy that has not changed, the team at Rundle Tailoring still believe in old-school customer service and quality suits made with integrity. Meet fourth-generation tailor Andrew Rundle and his wife Bronwyn who now hold the torch for this iconic business.
E2 • Estabar
Owner Bec Bowie is a bit of a superstar among Newcastle businesses. She opened Estabar, a cafe with the intention of fostering community and creating a menu made up of local seasonal produce. Bec and the Estabar family open their arms to offer love… and damn good house-made gelati!
C12 • Abicus
Opening their doors in the heart of Darby Street in 2000, Abicus continues to hit the mark with their cultural curation of vinyl, fashion and books that align with strong business ethics on sustainability and lifestyle. Hear owners Tiffany Minell and Tim McPhee share their story, their hopes and dreams and the legacy of Abicus.
C8 • Monsoon Living
Leaving the international world of broadcast media and returning home to share the love of interiors and travel, Tash has set up Monsoon Living in the charming historic neighbourhood that is King Street. As an interior designer with a heart for narrative and an eye for detail, she has curated an incredible space with art, objects, furniture and furnishings that is sure to inspire!
W6 • Metro Cycles
It’s time to get off the couch and get back on your bike! When Bernard and Lynn Hockings gave up their professional careers to start up this passion project, they never imagined the overwhelming response from Newcastle’s bike community. Find out how Metro Cycles transforming urban transport and making bikes cool again.
E3 • The Falcon
Inspired by the food and culture of the southern states of America, Mike Galvin and Brendan Bennison talk us through their monumental journey of opening The Falcon. We hear the process behind their famous smoked meats and the magic that happens when people sit at a bar, with a good drink. LANGUAGE WARNING: Mike says the ‘s’ word in this episode, but it’s worth it.
E14 • The Lair
Sometimes the best part about running your own business is accidentally tapping into a new found talent. Posting their in-house style of leather goods on Instagram brought a flood of loyal customers. The Lair practices what they preach, making accessories slowly and sustainably with soulful elegance.
W4 • Antojitos
We’re on a hunt for the freshest tortilla in town! Starting out as a casual market stall, Antojitos has grown into an established restaurant serving up authentic street food for the people. Bringing fresh Californian-style Mexican flavours to Newcastle has never been so rewarding for owners Eric Flores and his sister Bernadette Schmidt… but it takes focus and hard work to make it all happen.
“The diversity and quality of this audio series is so exceptional and as someone who knows the community well, I was truly surprised to learn even more as I listened on… I loved delving into the stories of our well-known local characters.” – Becky Kiil (Newcastle Afoot)
Our curated Walking Trails help you explore the city via the City of Newcastle mobile app.