Gerti’s gastropub in Peterborough offers a delicious way to give back to the community

Locally owned restaurant donating $5 from every weekly special sold to support the hospital's neonatal intensive care unit

With in-person dining prohibited at restaurants, Gerti's in downtown Peterborough continues to take food orders for either takeout or delivery. Despite the financial challenges caused by the provincial lockdown, the locally owned gastropub is donating $5 from each weekly special (such as this Chicago-style lasagna) sold to support neonatal care at the Peterborough Regional Health Centre. (Photo by Gerti's chef Eric McKibbon)
With in-person dining prohibited at restaurants, Gerti's in downtown Peterborough continues to take food orders for either takeout or delivery. Despite the financial challenges caused by the provincial lockdown, the locally owned gastropub is donating $5 from each weekly special (such as this Chicago-style lasagna) sold to support neonatal care at the Peterborough Regional Health Centre. (Photo by Gerti's chef Eric McKibbon)

If you’re looking for good food that will nourish your body and soul and the greater Peterborough community, look no further than Gerti’s gastropub in downtown Peterborough.

Although restaurants have been forced to close their doors to dining because of the pandemic, drastically reducing their revenue, this locally owned small business is still giving some of that revenue back to the community.

When the second provincial lockdown was announced, Gerti’s owners Diana and Sean Hunter decided to start a local fundraiser to support the Peterborough Regional Health Centre (PRHC). They are currently donating $5 of every weekly featured special purchased by customers to PRHC, through the PRHC Foundation Mombassadors group.

Gerti's owners Diana and Sean Hunter. In April 2019, the couple purchased the restaurant from original owners Gerti and Alban Sina. (Photo courtesy of Gerti's)
Gerti’s owners Diana and Sean Hunter. In April 2019, the couple purchased the restaurant from original owners Gerti and Alban Sina. (Photo courtesy of Gerti’s)

This isn’t the first time Gerti’s has done this fundraiser — they donated over $5,000 to the PRHC Foundation during the first lockdown.

“This time, we didn’t know what part of the hospital needed our help,” explains Diana. “I contacted the foundation, and they suggested we pair up with Mombassadors.”

The PRHC Foundation Mombassadors is a growing group of local mothers who raise funds for equipment for the PRHC neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). The foundation works closely with the PRHC Foundation, a separate fundraising organization for the Peterborough hospital. Government funding does not cover technology and equipment for hospitals — hence the need for organizations like these.

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“All of us have some connection to the NICU, including my son and my sister’s son,” says Erin Marshall, who founded the Mombassadors group with her sister, Sarah McDougall Perrin, in 2018. “That’s how we started this.”

All of the proceeds raised by Gerti’s will go to the Mombassadors, who pass it on to the PRHC Foundation to help fund the hospital’s equipment needs for the NICU.

In the past, the foundation has raised funds for state-of-the-art equipment for the NICU including fetal heart monitors, warming beds, and infant ventilation systems.

Sarah McDougall Perrin, who founded the PRHC Foundation Mombassadors group in 2018 with her sister Erin Marshall, pictured with her husband Scott and their son Weston. Through the hospital's foundation, the growing group of local mothers raises funds for the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at Peterborough Regional Health Centre (PRHC). (Photo by Jen Austin Driver supplied by PRHC Foundation Mombassadors)
Sarah McDougall Perrin, who founded the PRHC Foundation Mombassadors group in 2018 with her sister Erin Marshall, pictured with her husband Scott and their son Weston. Through the hospital’s foundation, the growing group of local mothers raises funds for the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at Peterborough Regional Health Centre (PRHC). (Photo by Jen Austin Driver supplied by PRHC Foundation Mombassadors)

“We weren’t able to do our main fundraising event this year because of the pandemic, so we are so excited to partner with Gerti’s on this,” Marshall explains. “As an organization, we understand that in this climate, it’s not a great time to fundraise, but this (Gerti’s fundraiser) has kept our momentum going.”

Marshall is a co-owner of Full Tilt Cycle spin studio, making her a downtown local business owner herself. She says the fundraiser is a win-win because it allows people to support a local business and a local charity in one go.

Gerti’s can certainly use the support, as the lockdown has taken a significant toll on their business. Diana says that, while they’re currently doing enough business to keep the lights on, her biggest priority is her staff — she wants to be sure they can come out of this.

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Fundraising has been an essential part of keeping both Diana and her staff’s spirits up during a tough time.

“It brings purpose to our every day,” Diana says.

To support the fundraiser, you can find Gerti’s weekly featured specials on their website at www.gertis.ca, where you can also place orders for either pickup or delivery. If ordering through the website isn’t for you, you can also order by calling or texting 705-743-7212.

In addition to their weekly featured specials, you can also order takeout or delivery from Gerti's regular diverse menu. Gerti's delivers within 15 kilometres of their location for a $5 delivery fee, or you can pick up your takeout order safely from the restaurant. (Photo by Gerti's chef Eric McKibbon)
In addition to their weekly featured specials, you can also order takeout or delivery from Gerti’s regular diverse menu. Gerti’s delivers within 15 kilometres of their location for a $5 delivery fee, or you can pick up your takeout order safely from the restaurant. (Photo by Gerti’s chef Eric McKibbon)

You can also support the fundraiser and Gerti’s by liking and sharing their posts on Facebook and Instagram.

Gerti’s is open for takeout and delivery from 4 to 9 p.m. Tuesday to Sunday (closed Monday). The restaurant delivers orders themselves, rather than using a third-party delivery service that would charge them high fees. Orders can be delivered to locations within 15 kilometres of Gerti’s for a $5 delivery fee.

If you choose to order takeout, there’s a table at the restaurant entrance where you can pick up your food and pay safely. Cash, e-transfer, debit, and credit are all accepted.

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While Diana would love for everyone to support Gerti’s and their fundraiser, she asks that the community support any locally owned business.

“I want to see every single business survive,” she says. “I would love to be able to go to all my favourite little spots after this is all over and know that they are going to be there.”

Gerti's had created a covered and heated back patio to allow for outside dining during the pandemic, until the most recent provincial lockdown forces restaurants to provide takeout and delivery only.  Gerti's co-owner Diana Hunter hopes everyone makes an effort to support locally owned businesses during the pandemic lockdown. (Photo courtesy of Gerti's)
Gerti’s had created a covered and heated back patio to allow for outside dining during the pandemic, until the most recent provincial lockdown forces restaurants to provide takeout and delivery only. Gerti’s co-owner Diana Hunter hopes everyone makes an effort to support locally owned businesses during the pandemic lockdown. (Photo courtesy of Gerti’s)

“I’m honestly so proud of this community,” adds Diana. “My entire heart is full with all of the love and support, not just for Gerti’s, but my staff and all the other businesses around me.”

Gerti’s is located at 225 Hunter Street West, in the heart of the Hunter Street Café District in downtown Peterborough. To view the menu and make an order, visit www.gertis.ca.