Adults and children alike can ‘Stay and play the day away’ at Playhouse Cafe, a new coffee shop that has opened in Courtenay’s Tintown neighbourhood.
One side of the establishment contains tables, chairs, mats and apparatus for toddlers. The other side contains a small cafe area.
Along with coffee drinks, the cafe offers an assortment of baked goods, sandwiches, wraps, croissants, scones, yogurt and salads. Gluten-free options are available.
“There’s a great community feel up here,” owner Evangeline Mathura said. “We’re not looking to be competition with any of the local coffee shops, we’re looking to work in conjunction with them. This is one of the few venues in town where you can drop in unscheduled. Most children’s activities for ages zero to six are scheduled.”
The seed for her business idea was planted when Mathura lived in Vancouver and Costa Rica. Coffee shops with play areas were evident in both locales.
“I’m looking to build a franchisable business model. Now it’s just fine tuning, and grow as we grow our children.”
Along with a play area, there is also a room to rent for birthday parties — which might be blessed by character visits from Wish Upon the Second Star Productions.
“The Valley is definitely lacking in options for birthday parties and such,” Mathura said.
Afternoon play is from 2-4 p.m. on weekdays. Story time is every Tuesday and Thursday at 10 a.m. and noon.
Due to limited seating, adults must accompany children in the seating and play area.
The cafe hosted a ‘soft launch’ on Jan. 16. The grand opening is Saturday, Feb. 7. There will be a coloring contest, along with mascot and character visits throughout the day. A door prize draw will be held to win a free birthday party rental or one of eight Free Play and Coffee gift certificates.
Playhouse Cafe will host a fundraiser for YANA (You Are Not Alone) on Valentine’s Day, Saturday, Feb. 14 from noon to 4 p.m.
“Our target market is who they help,” Mathura said of the Valley charity that raises money to help families access out-of-town medical treatment for their children. “We’re thrilled to play an active part in the lives of families with young children in the Comox Valley.”
The fundraiser will be a Sock Hop Dance for the little ones, with dancing, games and face painting. Tickets are $7 per child.
From Feb. 1 to 14, the cafe will sell candy bags and other Valentine items to raise additional funds for YANA.
In March and April, the cafe will host public information sessions about YANA and the many ways it can assist families.
Mathura hopes to work with other organizations on community awareness campaigns and fundraisers.
“With being open just over one week, we have experienced such warm receptivity from the Valley that we are even more excited to offer fundraisers and local events that bring us together and build our community even stronger,” she said.
The cafe is located at 2328 A Rosewall Cres. in Tintown. It’s open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Wi-Fi is available.