Local Love

We chatted with three local couples about why they love the area, their businesses and each other

Article by Susan Lanier-Graham

Photography by Christine Andert—Picture Lady Photography LLC

Originally published in North Peoria Lifestyle

Susie Ann & Jason Lee

Lee-Bones Fine Meats

Jason and Susie Ann were high school sweethearts, together for 32 years. After school, Jason joined the USAF (both of their fathers are retired military) and ended up getting stationed at Luke Air Force Base. That was 22 years ago. Today, the couple owns and operates Lee-Bones Fine Meats. “Our customers come to our butcher shop because they want quality, natural meat,” explains Susie Ann. “You can taste the difference.”

What is the secret to their success? “Honestly, Jason and I have been together long enough to know that we should NOT work together in the same space for too long,” laughs Susie Ann.

“We have balanced our time in such a way that I keep up with our business end and Jason runs the operations.”

Joey & Tanya Lucidi

Westside Concepts

Joey and Tanya Lucidi have been married for almost 16 years and have called Peoria home since 2008. The couple has four girls—Isabella, Gianna, Olivia and Amelia—ranging in ages from 4 to 14. Joey owns Westside Concepts (WestsideConcepts.US), which operates three Haymaker restaurants (North Peoria, Goodyear, and Thunderbird), Social on 83rd, NW Coffee, Cantina Gueros in North Peoria and Goodyear, and Fire House Event Center.

"Opening our first restaurant was tough," Joey recounts. "We bootstrapped it with no bank loans or backup plans. We were down to $107 in our bank account the night we opened the restaurant. With three kids at home, going through that was tough. We had no option to fail. We had to succeed."

Today, Westside Concepts employs more than 350. "Our goal is to bring quality restaurant concepts to the West Valley. Giving locals quality options helps our communities grow and become stronger. We are so blessed to be where we are and share our success with our team."   

Audra and Eric Gilbert

FOH Productions, Roadcase.com and Delex Realty

Audra and Eric, married for 14 years now, have been West Valley residents since before they met (their parents also call Peoria home) and lived and worked in North Peoria for 13 years. They make it a priority to give back to the community. 

Eric owns FOH Productions (FOHProductions.net), an event planning company and Roadcase.com, where he designs, builds and manufactures custom road cases to transport equipment for tours, events, movie productions and more. Audra is a top-producing realtor for Delex Realty (AudraGilbert.com). "I love bringing people together and helping them explore the West Valley."

"The most important thing for us is to support each other in the hard times just as much as the happy times," says Audra. "Because both of us are business owners, there's no guaranteed paycheck and we both have to work hard to achieve our goals."

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