TYRONE’S VENTURE GAMES
PUTTING IT ALL ON THE TABLE
WRITTEN BY MAGGIE WORTH
“Life isn’t all fun and games unless, of course, you’re Lizz and Chris McKay, owners of Venture Games in Tyrone.
Not that owning a small business – or producing high-quality products – is always fun, but the couple certainly finds a lot of satisfaction in knowing their company provides not only a livelihood for their family, but jobs for eight other employees, as well as benefits for the local community and countless hours of fun and bonding time for their customers. And they’re thrilled to be able to do all that right in their own backyards
“We love Fayette County and we love being able to work and live in the same place:· says Lizz. “We can be really involved in our kids’ school and their other activities, and we can be involved in community events. Balance is everything for us and having both our home and our company in Fayette provides exactly the balance we want.”
Venture hasn’t always been located here, though. It officially started in New Jersey in 1997 when Chris’ dad bought the assets of a successful shuffleboard company established in 1928. For several years, both Lizz and Chris worked for the family business up north, Chris on the production side and Lizz in the office. Eventually, though, they started thinking about a change of pace – and about escaping the harsh winters. A trip to Fayette to visit Lizz’s aunt and uncle in Fayette County opened the door and the pair moved to Peachtree City in 2011.
Lizz and Chris fully expected to start building a life -and careers – outside the family business, but before they could get truly launched, tragedy struck. Chris’ dad passed unexpectedly from a heart attack and Chris and Lizz were faced with two big decisions: do we carry on the business and, if so, do we return to New Jersey to do it?
After much thought and consideration, they decided the legacy needed to continue – but that it also needed to relocate. Chris’ dad passed on November 30, 2011. In June of 2012, the McKays shipped three 53′ trailers of equipment and supplies from Jersey to Peachtree City. On July 3 that same year, the shop was operational and the freshly rebranded Venture Games built its first shuffleboard table in Fayette County.
“The easy thing would have been to pack ourselves up and move back north,” Lizz says. “But we just didn’t want to do that. Even though we’d only been here a few months, Peachtree City was home. Moving the entire operation wasn’t easy, but we’ve never regretted it.”
Six years later, Venture Games is a world leader in not only custom shuffleboard tables, but also foosball and ping-pong tables. All their products are built in their new-this-year Tyrone location, but they ship all over the world – and have been featured in press and on websites across the globe as well.
‘We’re in an interesting space,’ Lizz says, ‘because we’re a small, locally-owned business, but we’re global in terms of our customers. I think a lot of small businesses, particularly here in Fayette, are entering that space and we can be great support for each other. We have a great community here – and a great business community. We’re truly invested in it and we look forward to being here for a long, long time.’”