Restaurants partner with disability support provider to create jobs

June 13, 2024 BY

Pholklore owner Domenic Friend. Photos: SUPPLIED

LOCAL restaurants Pholklore and Edge Geelong have teamed up with disability support service genU to provide opportunities for people living with disability and bolster their independence.

Both restaurants have outsourced some of their kitchen preparation to genU’s commercial food preparation service, helping to provide meaningful employment in a supported work environment for community members living with disability.

Partnership with the service has allowed both establishments to make a positive difference while also streamlining their own operations.

Pholklore owner Domenic Friend, who has restaurants in both Torquay and Geelong, spent some time working in disability services before getting into the hospitality industry.

“When it came to setting up Pholklore, I knew I wanted suppliers who shared similar values of community impact, sustainability and affordability,” he said.

“Our partnership with genU isn’t just about business – it’s about making a positive change in our community.

“By working together, we’re not only supporting individuals with disabilities but also spreading good vibes throughout our neighbourhood.”

Edge Geelong head chef Stewart Atchison.


He said the partnership had been a “game-changer” for Pholklore, with the team able to spend “less time chopping and more time perfecting” its dishes.

Working with genU has been similarly beneficial for Edge Geelong and its head chef Stewart Atchison.

“genU said we could outsource elements of food preparation to genU so we could save time in the kitchen while making a difference in our community by supporting stable employment for people living with disability,” he said.

“It allows us to save time, simplify wage costs and focus our efforts on innovating our menu items, employee training and growing the business.”

He said having the team from genU visit Edge Geelong and “try the food using the ingredients they have provided” was a “highlight”.

“Meeting these individuals is such a pleasure and motivates us to continue to work alongside genU after seeing the positive impact it has,” Atchison said.

Friend and Atchison both encouraged other businesses to consider partnering with social enterprises like genU.

“Find partners who share your values, and together, let’s create a community where everyone has equal opportunity,” Friend said.

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