Earlier this year, I told you about Maman, Bébé et Café, a coffee shop in Montreal that was more a community center for parents than a typical coffee shop. (October 4th, 2009 update: A friend told me that Maman, Bébé et Café has closed their door.)
It seems that Toronto are catching up with two new kid-friendly cafes opening in trendy neighborhoods with a good concentration of strollers. Lil’ Bean N’ Green opens this week in Leslieville with a fun play area for kids. You can read on BlogTO that Leonor Filipe opened the Gingerbread House Family Café in the Junction three months ago with a similar goal of providing not only food, but a social service for parents at loose ends.
I like the idea that moms and dads have spaces where they can hanged out with their babies and toddles while meeting other parents. I think we will see more of these places once they figured out a viable business model.
About the Play Fee at Lil Bean N’ Green
Some people complained on BlogTO about the fact that the play area is not free at Lil Bean N’ Green. As an entrepreneur, I see why they are doing it. The store owner pays to set up the area. They have to pay the rent on for a retail space in the city. They have a business to run and they can not survive on having moms with kids hanging there for hours while buying one coffee. After all, maintaining a playroom costs more than supplying Wi-Fi. Finding the right price to charge is the challenge.
I invite you to read the post on BlogTO to learn more about these 2 family-style cafes.