My name is Aron Lewin.

I’ve been writing about longstanding shops across Melbourne.

People tend to ask how I started, and this is the story. A butcher on Glenhuntly Rd had a chalkboard out the front with  ‘RIP BEN HOWE BUTCHERS – 1960-2017′ written on it. I wanted to learn more about this butcher shop, and had a chat with Ben Howe, who was accomodating.

The story was enjoyed by friends and family so, over the next few weeks, I interviewed the local barber, bookstore and other places that I was reasonably familiar with. I received suggestions for longstanding shops that are outside of Caulfield, and have inched my way across parts of Melbourne in the hope that people will have a chat with me. I’m still inching so, please, send suggestions for shops in different areas!

After a while, I decided to self-promote. Tales of Brick and Mortar stories have featured in The Glen Eira Leader, Urban List, Commercial Real Estate and The Age. After an interview on RRR 102.7FM, I received an email from Tatiana CC Scott, an excellent photographer, and I have been working with her on subsequent stories.

The point of this project is ever-evolving. Where I’m presently at is that these shops are an integral part of our local community. The chat I have and the connection that is formed might be as important for both parties as the product that’s purchased.

Also, this isn’t driven by a sense of nostalgia. These shops aren’t a relic of the past. They are present, relevant and full of stories that are still developing. Hopefully, Tales of Brick and Mortar adds something to the way that we value these shops.

Please send story suggestions, feedback, opportunities and anything else to talesofbrickandmortar@gmail.com or aronblewin@gmail.com