Young entrepreneur is new owner of Food Forest Cafe in downtown Peterborough

19-year-old Lasair Wood purchases vegan restaurant business after working there for a year

Lasair Wood is the new owner of The Food Forest Cafe in downtown Peterborough. (Photo via @marymaggiem / Instagram)
Lasair Wood is the new owner of The Food Forest Cafe in downtown Peterborough. (Photo via @marymaggiem / Instagram)

The Food Forest Cafe in downtown Peterborough has a new owner: 19-year-old Lasair Wood.

According to an Instagram post by her mother, Margaret Thomas-Madden, Wood took over ownership of the cafe on Wednesday (December 12).

The Food Forest Cafe, which offers plant-based and gluten-free organic food, was founded in 2013 by Katie Lynn and Adam Deck. Originally located on George Street, the cafe moved to its current location at 135 Hunter Street (previously occupied by Maggie’s Eatery) in May 2015.

In mid 2017, Lynn and Deck sold the business to Laura Barker.

According to Thomas-Madden, Wood has worked in the kitchen at the cafe for the past year, where she rediscovered her love of cooking.

“Recently, when the restaurant came up for sale, she confided in me that she wanted to buy it,” Thomas-Madden writes on Instagram. “In six short weeks, her ambition made today possible.”

Here is Thomas-Madden’s complete Instagram post of the announcement:

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Hey friends, I hope you’re sitting down cause I have news! For the past year my daughter @lasairwood has worked at the Food Forest Cafe in beautiful downtown Peterborough. She’s worked her tail off, often working 6 days a week. Recently, when the restaurant came up for sale, she confided in me that she wanted to buy it. In six short weeks, her ambition made today possible. Today is the day Lasair took ownership of the Food Forest Cafe. At the tender age of 19 years old, this fearless, tenacious, young lady has taken over the Cafe she’s called home for a year now. I couldn’t be more proud of her! The Food Forest Cafe changed Lasair’s life. She re-discovered her love of cooking and took pride in the dishes she created in the kitchen. Before starting at the restaurant, Lasair had been struggling. For those who don’t know, she was kicked out of the family home at the age of 16 years old. It was one of the most difficult decisions I’ve ever had to make as a parent. She was an angry and disgruntled teenager and it was an incredibly difficult time for the whole family. Unlike most kids who get kicked out at that age, she never asked to come back; she was determined to make it on her own. She had a tough couple of years but I watched her grow, learn and mature. I’m happy to say that we are now closer than ever. Fast forward 3 years and she’s made this bold move to own her own business. She’s already faced letdowns, setbacks and challenges but she’s meeting them head on like a boss. So I hope you’ll all come by, say hello, show some support to this new young entrepreneur. Not vegan? That’s ok! Your mother always told you to eat more vegetables anyway so get in there! You’ll probably see me there helping out ?? #vegan #glutenfree #foodforest #downtownpeterborough #ptbo #hunterstreet #newentrepreneur #girlboss #proudmama #gobigorgohome

A post shared by Margaret Thomas-Madden (@marymaggiem) on

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