• October 23, 2019

Ben Southwell is shining a very bright spotlight on local businesses with his digital series of interviews, Heroes in the Hood. As an Annandale specialist, Ben’s passion for the Inner West runs deep. He was eager to take a closer look at the people and ventures that make the area what it is, going behind the scenes to capture the essence of the community.

“The idea is to highlight what makes our villages great, profile the characters behind these businesses and get to the heart of why people love living here,” says Ben. “I think it’s vitally important to reinforce the fact that if we’re not supporting our local businesses, shopping locally and dining locally then the villages we love so much will all but evaporate. Then we’ll really lose the soul that’s brought people here in the first place.”

“Heroes in the Hood is more than just sitting down and interviewing people. We go behind the curtain of niche businesses, both established and evolving, so that people get a candid look at the work that goes in day to day to keep the doors open. It’s about telling their story with plenty of heart and emotion.” 

“After going through decades where we wanted everything now, everything was disposable and it was just churn and burn, there’s now a shift towards having consideration for where things come from, how they’re made and the environmental impact they have. We’re going back to more respectful processes, less waste, more seasonal and a lot of our local businesses are doing great things in the environmental space. Just knowing this might make people think ‘hey I can get something similar for a few bucks cheaper online but I really like what these guys are doing so let’s get behind them’. In turn, there’s that synergy of what goes around comes around.”

“Village life is the grass roots of the Inner West, so people should be encouraged to support the little guy – you get a much better experience and it’s something you can feel good about.”

If you feel like your local story is one that should be shared, feel free to contact Ben on 0407 896 212 or

Check out the Heroes in the Hood series below.

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