Elisa Cecchetto and her mother Ella Casadei opened the doors to their soulful Italian restaurant Oldtown in Newtown in 2012. Their love of food and hosting a feast means it comes naturally to the two women – Casadei’s family owns several eateries across Europe. “Any occasion calls for eating and trying new places and I blame my mother for this!” says Cecchetto. She quit her corporate life and joined her mum to produce their favourite home-cooked dishes for the neighbourhood.
“It’s great working together because there’s a level of understanding and trust that you just don’t get with others. We have the same values, morals and work ethic, so when it comes to business we see eye to eye,” says Cecchetto. With a packed restaurant every night, the mother-daughter team has seen their bond strengthen. “Opening a business will always effect relationships, fortunately for us it has made it a better one. We went from seeing each other on weekends and special occasions to basically spending 10 to sometimes 15 hours together every day. So apart from business partners and being mother and daughter we are pretty good friends!”
For mother-and-son team Penelope Marshall and Guy Renner, the dream to open a vegan sushi cafe is finally becoming a reality. Super Food Sushi is entering its final days of crowdfunding on Pozible. For Renner, the venture is a way of doing what he enjoys that also gives his mum a chance to fulfill her goal: creating healthy and delicious vegan options. It all started when she catered vegan finger food at his 21st. “She told me about the vegan-sushi dream and I saw how passionate she was about it. It was in line with my training in personal fitness and health, so I said, ‘Let’s go for it’. It’s been amazing so far,” Renner says.
Opening in Newtown, the menu includes unusual sushi fillings such as black carrot and kiwi fruit. There has been a positive outcome from the stress of starting a business from scratch. “Our working relationship has actually made our natural bond strengthen in ways I could not have imagined,” says Marshall. “We are always considerate of each others’ opinions and ideas and I think this journey has given me a more comprehensive understanding of Guy, not only as a son, but also a business person and a partner. I feel very humbled and grateful.”
It’s not only food that strengthens the maternal bond. Anne and Hannah Seely produce bed linen as Major Minor in Camperdown together. Coming from corporate backgrounds, Hannah and Anne were looking for a change and wanted to work together from the get-go. With a shared passion for high quality linen, they found the perfect excuse to not only spend more time together, but produce something they love. “I remember as a little girl going to our local library and as well as borrowing books, my mum was always borrowing the latest Vogue Living and House & Garden and spending time pouring over them, planning the next renovation,” says Hannah. With plush fabrics and a wide range of colours, Major Minor has grown steadily. “We're both pretty strong-minded women, and so we can have fairly ‘robust’ discussions on the important matters. And also the not-so-important ones. But at the end of the day, we understand what each other is good at and always work out a healthy compromise,” Hannah says.