In Conversation with Rospaul

In Conversation with Rospaul

Rosa and her husband Paul have dedicated over 36 years to running their stall at Queen Victoria Market. Their business is a cherished family endeavor spanning three generations, with their children pitching in to help from a young age. Coming from farming backgrounds themselves, Rosa and Paul prioritise sourcing the finest fruits and vegetables from Australian farmers, ensuring Melbourne residents receive only the best produce.

Can you tell us what working alongside your mum means to you?  

John: Working alongside my mum means everything to me. It’s not just about the work; it’s about the bond we’ve built over the years.

Tony: It’s good to be able to see and spend time with your mum every day. It’s a privilege not everyone gets, and I cherish every moment.

Can you share a favorite memory you have with your mum or as a mum on Mother’s Day? 

Rosa: My mum crafted the most exquisite sweets, all handmade using techniques she learned in Italy. She was truly one of the finest sweet makers in the world! I remember her delicately icing cakes with a matchstick and her stunning calligraphy, making our birthdays truly special occasions. I’ve tried to be just as good as my mum but between managing my business and spending time with my wonderful grandchildren, it’s quite a juggling act!

John: I will always cherish the time spent working alongside my mum at Rospaul. We work well together; it’s a real family unit here. I even met my wife here which we now have two beautiful kids because of this place!

Tony: Big family events like Christmas and Easter are the best—times for family gatherings, laughter, and creating cherished memories together.

What qualities or traits do you admire most in your mother in your life? 

Rosa: Both my mother and mother-in-law are so family oriented, family always comes first. A big plate of food in front of everyone is always so important and you must eat, often it would include handmade bread and pasta!

John: She always stands up for what she believes in, never backing down from her convictions. It’s a quality I deeply respect and admire.

Tony: She is tough, old school, yet sympathetic—a unique blend of strength and empathy that defines her character.

Are there any special lessons or values your mother passed down to you that you cherish? 

Rosa: My mum taught me never to speak ill of others—it always comes back to you. Their advice to turn the other cheek still guides me today. 

John: Respect people for who they are and what they do, be courteous and well-mannered. That will always take you far in life.

Tony: Family being together is everything. It’s what truly matters.

What do you think are some creative or meaningful ways to show appreciation for mothers beyond traditional gifts? 

Rosa: My mother has never been a flower person as she grew her own roses, she just wanted her family around her table, a visit from her family was always what she wanted.

John: Always remember to tell them how much they mean to you, show appreciation towards them. Verbal affirmations can make all the difference.

Tony: I think it’s important to provide an experience, offering a relaxing day, and giving them what they want—it’s about creating moments that truly matter. 

How do you balance the demands of motherhood with your personal goals and ambitions? 

Rosa: I take great pride in how I’ve raised my boys. They have a strong work ethic, are respectful, and understand the value of hard work. They never went without anything growing up; I made sure of that. They were involved in sports and various activities, and I always found and made the time for them. Now, I need some more rest! But I’m busy with my grandchildren—picking them up, dropping them off, taking them to sports, you name it. And you know what? I love it! Absolutely love it. Family will always come first.

How has motherhood changed or shaped your perspective on life? 

Rosa: I always aim for a better world for my kids. Fortunately, I have raised two young men who are always respectful, kind, and considerate—a wonderful circle of support. I wish I could do more to make it a better world for them, but I can’t.

How will you be celebrating Mother’s Day this year?  

Rosa: As usual, at my house! It will be either lunch or afternoon tea with the whole family, including grandchildren and great grandfather who used to work here!

John: Mum loves it when we all get together, so I always make sure to bring the wife and kids over to her house to celebrate the day with her. It means the world to her, and seeing her smile makes it all worth it.

Tony: With mum, of course!

Rospaul Fresh Fruit is located at B Shed Stall 93 – 95. Shop Rospaul range of fruit and vegetables at Queen Victoria Market on Tuesday and Thursday through to Sunday.  

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