Adley’s Eats: A Suppertime Rescue
November 25, 2017
If you’re looking for a fresh, hot meal in suburban St. John’s, Adley’s Eats is the place to go. Family-owned and operated by mother-and-son team Barbara and Paul Roebothan. Adley’s is serving meals to go nightly from 3:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at its convenient Pearson Street location. And although Paul has never been in the food business before—Barbara is a registered dietitian—the place has been running like a top since its opening a few months ago.
Years ago, the duo has researched the concept of a homemade-meal, take-out restaurant, but the idea sat on the shelf for a few years until a great location became available, spurring them into action. Now, Adley’s is entrenched in a residential area in the midst of a handful of elementary schools and junior high schools—perfectly situated for parents to grab a fully prepared meal after picking the kids up from school.
A true perfectionist by nature, Paul has eased into the business slowly, carefully introducing new menu items and ramping up sales through publicity and social media. Soon, a website will be online that will offer full menus and ordering capability, including the number of portions, desired side dishes and deserts, along with the expected pick-up-time.
"We are taking our time and doing things slowly to make sure everyone has the best experience," he says. "Word-of-mouth referrals are much more beneficial to us than doing a bunch of advertising and marketing and trying to flood the place."
Toward that end, Paul is front and center at Adley’s, greeting customers and soliciting feedback so he can continue to hone menu options and make other improvements. A team of culinary students and graduates handle kitchen duties, carefully preparing menu items according to recipes carefully selected by Barbara and Paul. On the morning of this interview, the staff id preparing a number of mouthwatering dishes, including Chicken Parmesan, oven-roasted chicken, curried cod, coleslaw, sweet potato with apples, Newfoundland sea soup. and blueberry baked pudding. In their rare down time, the kitchen is busy preparing new, heartier dishes for fall, including a variety of soups and stews. When asked if there is a most popular entree option, Paul is momentarily stumped: “These are the foods I grew up on, and they really are delicious.”
Every Sunday, Paul takes stock of the previous week, analyzing sales and profit numbers, the proportion of new and repeat customers, and any feedback he has received. He already has gotten to know many of his regulars personally and loves the idea that his little eatery is filling a void in busy people’s lives, providing an option other than traditional fast food.
Paul and Barbara are quick to acknowledge the friends and family who have made their dream come true. “I don’t know how we would have done it without relying on them during crunch time,” he says. “They have really stepped up, and I want them to know how much we appreciate them.”