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Community Highlights: Meet Blair Byrnside of Bumble Brews Play Cafe

Today we’d like to introduce you to Blair Byrnside.

Hi Blair, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstory.
The idea for Bumble Brews came just after our second daughter was born. My husband and I had been cooped up with a newborn and it was now summer. Our oldest daughter was two years old and we needed to GET OUT of the house. We tried parks and walks but found that the heat was often too much for our very young kids. And don’t get me started on the preparation for spending time outside with small kids… Then we found indoor play spaces. The big indoor museum-type spaces were amazing but really hard to do with two kids by yourself. Climbing a ropes course to free your almost three years old while holding an infant is not ideal. They were trampled by big kids at trampoline parks, other places we lost sight of them in a maze of equipment. In short, we thought there has to be a better way. I played around with the idea for a long time. I tried to think of all the things that would make the space safe for young kids but also enjoyable for parents. Our space has a very open design so you can see your kids from pretty much anywhere. You can play alongside your kids or watch from a distance. We try to rotate the toys and keep the space super clean. We’ve also included coffee, beer and wine. These were really important to me to give parents a much needed moment to relax. The response from the community has been really amazing. We host a lot of fun events and I’ve tried to create a space where the whole family can enjoy themselves.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
The road has definitely not been smooth. As someone with zero background in starting a business, I essentially planned this over a year after we got the kiddos to bed. We signed our lease in February 2020 and then the pandemic hit right after. We were able to push our start date but the pandemic totally changed our business model. Limited capacity meant less customers which meant I couldn’t afford staff. Managing headcounts, constant deep sanitizing, and just a new general fear of being around other people. These were tough issues to power through. I mean, there is never a good time to take a major financial risk but I recommend not starting out during a pandemic if you can avoid it.

Great, so let’s talk business. Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
Bumble Brews is an indoor children’s play facility and café where parents can enjoy “brews” such as specialty coffees or draft beers while kids burn off some steam. We are generally known as a great spot to meet up for families with young kids. We try to support local as much as possible. We serve locally roasted, fair trade, organic coffee. We serve local beers and hire local talent. We also have a community board where we promote other local businesses we know and love. What sets us apart is, obviously, the beer and wine. What I love about Bumble Brews though is that it’s a lot of things. We are a playdate space for stay-at-home-moms, a local coffee shop, a dad’s day out, or a space for a kid to see all their favorite characters. We do crafts and birthday parties, science and magic. I’m really proud that I’ve created a space that allows so much creative freedom.

We’d love to hear about any fond memories you have from when you were growing up?
I’m not sure I can narrow it to one specific memory but I really loved white water rafting with my family. I grew up around a lot of cousins and I was one of the youngest. There weren’t a lot of activities we all did together that we all enjoyed but white water rafting was one of them. We would rent a cabin in the mountains for a few days each summer and do all the mountain things. My favorite was rafting. We would divide our crew into rafts and set off on this adventure. We would all work together and it was exhilarating. In the end, we all felt like we had accomplished something special. And of course, we were soaked from head to toe. It was just one of those things that felt perfect every time.

Pricing:

  • $8 Open Play for 90 minutes
  • $150 Non-private Parties
  • $250 Private Parties

Contact Info:

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