Australian fintech, Zeller has released a new short film, Rathdowne Village, shot in Melbourne’s inner-northern suburb of Carlton North, showcasing the people and stories behind Australia’s most iconic small business communities.

The first in a new series produced by Zeller, Rathdowne Street bears all the hallmarks of a typical village, and yet, it’s located just three kilometres from the central business district. After more than 150 years and history with strong Jewish roots, later evolving into the centre of the Italo-Australian community that it is renowned for today, this pocket of Melbourne has maintained its old-world charm and boasts one of the lowest business turnover rates in Melbourne.

The short film tells the stories of five businesses that paint a picture not just of work, but of family, community and loyalty:

  • Fledgling Espresso – a café owned and operated by young entrepreneur Connor Cunliffe, and his mother Vanessa Cunliffe
  • Rathdowne Village Delicatessen,a community deli stocking fresh food and specialty goods, co-owned and operated by Frank Siliato and Larry Dichiera
  • Love it Longer,a consignment store selling designer women’s clothing and accessories, co-owned and operated by sisters Giulia Ferrari and Mattia Hunter Ferne, and mother Armanda Hunter
  • Biscotteria, an authentic Sicilian pasticceria, operated by Claudine Costanzo of the Footscray Cavallaro family
  • La Tonada, owned by siblings Naida and Naid Asconio, who immigrated from Colombia and opened the Latin fusion restaurant in 2019.

The short film is being promoted with an extensive local area marketing campaign throughout Melbourne’s inner north, highlighting the business heroes who are profiled.

Zeller director of growth, Joshua McNicol said, “In creating this short film, we’ve found an area where business is not just transactional, but there’s a deep care for the community they serve. Our team was inspired by these five amazing businesses and the people behind them — and saw this as an opportunity to share their stories and demonstrate how family and community can intersect to create opportunities for businesses to thrive.”