For Tara Lee & Adam Genge, creating a network of community-minded local businesses is the primary driver behind everything they do. As the owners and operators of three local businesses – Chalk Therapy, Electric City Works, and now South Eatery, Adam and Tara have their hands’ full managing projects and community initiatives.
“It started a few years ago when Tara was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma,” says Adam. “While going through chemotherapy, she really needed something to keep her busy and she wanted to create something with her own hands. Tara found her passion for painting and refinishing furniture, and Chalk Therapy grew from there.”
Once she was deemed in remission, Tara and Adam moved into their first storefront location to expand the retail offerings of Chalk Therapy and after two years, Adam and Tara created Electric City Works. Electric City Works is a place designed to bring local artists and community members together through workshops, events, and a licensed cafe area. Opening only a few months before the COVID-19 pandemic, Adam speaks positively about the experience of owning Electric City Works.
“It’s been a lot of pivoting and trying new things to see what sticks,” he says. “I don’t think any of us could have prepared for what the last two years had in store of us.”
“As Electric City Works grew, we wanted to offer more cafe and pantry items in-house,” explains Adam. “It wasn’t an option to install a commercial kitchen in our current space, but another space came up which is now South Eatery. We jumped on the opportunity to reinvent the space as our own.”
South Eatery is an incredible eatery with pub-style food and weekly specials. With a new kitchen space and an ever-changing menu, the goal of South Eatery is to not only service the South-end of Peterborough, but also provide baked goods and snacks to Electric City Works.
“Our main goal is consistency,” says Adam. “We want to ensure all of our guests have the same amazing experience every time they visit us.”
Adam also shared some insights into the booming food scene that continues to grow in Peterborough.
“Some of my favourite restaurants are downtown, but that isn’t the only option for local fare,” explains Adam.
“That is the one of the takeaways that I hope people have when they visit us – there are a ton of amazing local restaurants outside of the downtown core.”
When asked what South Eatery is best known for, Adam didn’t hesitate. “Hands down our burgers,” he shares. “We’ve heard from a ton of our guests that they’re the best in town.”
Like many small businesses in the local area, South Eatery opened its’ door during the COVID-19 pandemic and is not without the struggle of operating a business during a time of global uncertainty. From supply chain issues to potential restrictions, Adam and his team have taken these challenges in stride. “We are so thankful to our patrons and community for their continued business and conscious effort to support local during this time,” says Adam.
Born and raised in Peterborough, becoming a member of the community and creating spaces for everyone is important to Adam.
“We have found tremendous support through local economic development programs, along with fellow business owners in the city. We take great pride in doing a ton of our own work, in regards to renovations and business management, but networking with fellow business owners is always a breath of fresh air in the craziness that is entrepreneurship.”
South Eatery is available for dine-in, patio dining, takeout, and delivery (Skip the Dishes).
To find out more about Chalk Therapy, Electric City Works, and South Eatery on their websites. South Eatery is located at 597 Monaghan Road, in Peterborough’s South End.
Chalk Therapy was a previous participant in the Starter Company Plus program.