What is your role?
Madelienne Anderson (Mads) and Rebecca Fox (Bec) are both directors of Cambridge Markets.
“Our role is ‘everything’,” says Bec. “It’s sales, marketing, production. We find the stalls and when the market’s on we run the market, and when the market’s not on we promote the market.”
What were you doing before this?
Mads: Both Bec and I have a background in PR. We both hadn’t worked for a little while because we had young children. We both have a background in events as well, and so it was perfect for us to go into this work.
Are you originally from Sydney, Australia?
Bec is originally from Sydney. Mads was born in Perth and moved here when she was 7. They met each other at school and have been friends for over 30 years.
What is your favourite thing to do when not at work?
Bec: Right now my favourite thing to do when I’m not at work is swim at the beach.
Mads: I think just spending time with my children, we love doing little adventures together whether it’s going to the art gallery or going to markets.
They both like being with their dogs, too.
What is the happiest moment of your life?
Bec: Mad and I started a new business, I’ve got a puppy, I’ve got happy children and I’ve got a new partner…I wake up very happy, and very grateful.
Mads: I’m very content with my life now. We work very, very, very hard and I don’t mind working hard…I talk to people all day, so I actually like going home and being quite quiet and spending time with the family.”
If it was your last day on earth, what would your last meal be?
Bec: Pasta! I’d have pasta and I’d have cheese and red wine…I’d have four cheeses with the gnocci. I’d have some pesto and then I’d have a marinara with a good amount of tomato and garlic in them. And I’d also have a beautiful bottle of red wine and then, if I could fit it in, I’d have some more cheese.
Mads: My last meal for me would probably be spaghetti vongole. I love clams, I love seafood, anything seafood I’d have as my last meal. And probably some really yummy chocolate…Oh and probably a G&T.
A bit more…
Moore Park markets had been running for 20 years but its popularity was declining when Bec and Mads took over about a year ago. They re-branded it Cambridge Markets EQ, got new stalls, improved the design, changed the website and effectively brought the markets back to life.
It’s a feat that’s all the more remarkable because they’d only been running their business for four years. Cambridge Markets began as a small market Mads ran regularly at her child’s school. Bec joined her and together they grew the business. They now run four regular local markets as well as occasional one-offs.
“We like dealing with small businesses. Everyone is really lovely and they’re just trying to have a go,” says Mads. “Plus we’re both very passionate about healthy foods.”
There’s a strong focus on provenance at Cambridge Markets. Bec believes that connection to food and connection to people add to overall wellbeing.
“They’ve done studies on farmers markets – about the health benefits for the community -and it’s all those reasons why,” she explains. “You actually digest your food better; digestion starts in the mind. If you make a connection with the person you are buying your food from, you are going to digest your food better.”
“I also find that I cook more than I used to because I’m at the market and I’m buying fresh produce,” adds Mads.
They encourage market goers to bring their own bags and they’re aiming at ultimately having a plastic-free market.
Stallholders at Cambridge Markets are a mix of professional vendors, small start-ups, artisans, and established businesses who use the markets for pop-up shops. For some, it’s a sustainable model in itself; for others it’s a stepping stone. Many businesses who start with a market stall go on to open restaurants or launch fashion labels.
Mads says “it’s one of the few places where you can park for free, it’s under cover, and it’s safe to wander around.”