It’s Official! The Grand Opening of Burlington’s First Play Cafe.
For as far back as I can remember, I’ve dreamed of owning my own business. My own little shoppe. When I was a little girl, I dreamed of owning a bookstore. Yup, I was a total book nerd. My absolute favourite place to pass time is still the local bookstore. Then I hit my 20s and became a coffee nut and began frequenting every small café within a 5-mile radius. I dreamed of one day owning my own little café.
So, you see, this crowd of people cheering as these larger than life scissors sliced through this yellow ribbon reading Grand Opening … this is the stuff dreams are made of and I can hardly believe that it’s real.
And, I can hardly believe that it ALMOST DIDN’T HAPPEN.
For weeks after we opened our doors on March 23rd, I felt like I did after giving birth to my son. Excited, amazed, joyful and also, totally overwhelmed! I was also sleeping like a newborn’s mama, getting about 3 hours of shut-eye a night and surviving off snacks of cheese strings and wheat thins and probably too much caffeine. I was still recovering from the construction project while planning Mother’s Day Tea Parties and making program schedules. And every time I thought about putting together a Grand Opening, I felt paralyzed by indecision. Narrowing down a theme, a date, entertainment, décor … all of it seemed overwhelming.
The truth is, I was terrified. Organizing fun events for kids and parents was one thing, but a party to celebrate ME? Oh, that felt soooo uncomfortable.
I’ve always been the person behind the scenes. For years, I was a journalist and wrote articles about business owners. I wrote about how they came to build their dreams. I never imagined that one day someone would be interviewing me. I haven’t thrown myself a birthday party since 5th grade and I’m way more comfortable behind the camera than I am in front of one. So asking people to come out and celebrate my new business, oh, that felt so strange.
It wasn’t until I realized that this wasn’t a party for ME, that I was able to plan it. You see, this party was my chance to celebrate all of the people who have played a role in making this play cafe what it is, and what I hope it will grow to be. It was about thanking our first customers, those who I’ve come to know over the past three months. It was about celebrating our suppliers and giving our customers an opportunity to meet the people behind the amazing products they’ve tasted. And it was about thanking my family and friends who have supported this dream of mine and showing them what they’ve helped to create. It was also about showing the city of Burlington that we are here and proud to be part of this amazing community.
And so, on Saturday, this incredible crowd stood outside and cheered as I held my 4-year-old son’s hands on the handle of the biggest scissors we’ve ever seen and we cut this yellow ribbon signalling the official Grand Opening of Chickadee Family Café. I held a certificate from the House of Commons with my company’s name on it. A company I created. It was like holding my baby’s birth certificate. Yes, I made you little one. Let’s see what you’ll become!
It’s taken me a couple of days to soak up all that has happened over the past three months and this weekend in particular. Whether you attended our Grand Opening in person, or were there in spirit, whether you’ve come to call our café your second home or whether you haven’t visited yet, thank you, thank you, thank you … for your support, your encouragement, for sharing the love, for every time you tag us in your stories, for every friend you tell about us, for every review you’ve left, for every DM, it honestly means SOOOO much.
It’s been an amazing journey so far and I can’t wait to see what the future holds!