We Found Home
At long last, after months of searching for the perfect location for this family-friend play café, after intense lease negotiations, zoning approvals and building permit submissions, we have FINALLY found our location and have begun the work to bring Chickadee Family Café to you!
What has taken sooooo long, you ask?
Well, friends, I didn’t know this before I started working on opening this family-friendly play café, but brick and mortar locations are NO JOKE! They take a long time to get upoff the ground.
First, there’s the scouting.
If you saw me driving aimlessly around Burlington, glaring out my window, it’s because I was on the hunt. Usually I do this when I’m looking for caffeine, but really, I was on a search for a location for this little play café. I drove into every plaza in Burlington looking for Lease signs. When I saw one, I took photos and emailed my agent for details (square footage, price, etc.). Then I narrowed down the list of available locations and went to check them out.
I made an offer on one unit that took four months – yes, you read that right – FOUR months of lease negotiations and legalities – and finally, it didn’t work out. Basically because someone else had the right of first refusal on the unit, meaning the landlord had to tell them when we finally came to an agreement andthey snatched it up. Well, that just felt like a punch to the gut and a ton of time wasted. No joke, I threw myself one serious pity party that night.
The next morning, I woke up and decided I wasn’t going to let this little snafu get in the way of my dream of building a family-friendly cafe. I read through the dozens of messages from people saying how glad they were that this space was going to open in their backyard, how much a family-friendly café was needed in Burlington, how they were looking forward to hosting their mommy meeetups at the cafe and having some quality family time that didn’t involve a fast food joint. I was darn sure not going to let them down and I wasn’t going to let one incident (albeit a long drawn out one) stand in the way of my dream of opening this business.
Well, it took another couple of months for me to find the perfect location for this little play café. I wanted a place that had good parking, was visible from the street, had large windows for some natural light and was in a convenient location for Burlington families. I wanted a central Burlington location that was accessible to families not only from all over Burlington,but that was also convenient to the QEW for families coming from Oakville, Hamilton and Milton.
It still took another three months to be able to tell you that I found your family’s new hangout! Lease negotiations were fairly quick, but it took about a month to get a zoning certificate (basically the piece of paper thatthe city gives us to say that we can operate this business in this location), another month for architectural drawings and another month to get a building permit.
Needless to say, if parenting a toddler hasn’t tested my patience, finding a location for my business sure has!
But, friends, we finally have our permit in hands and we are ready with our paint brushes, hammers and whatever other tools you need to build a play café (as you can tell, I’ll be really useful in the constructionphase). So, if you’re into construction or coffee décor, follow along on our Instagram stories (@chickadeefamilycafe) and watch as the process unfolds, or just laugh at my attempts to build things (don’t worry – I’ve hired a team of professionals who actually know what they’re doing).
Thank you so very much from the bottom of my heart for your patience though this process. Some of you have been following me since the beginning of this journey, nearly a year ago! I cannot wait to open our doors and welcome your family to Chickadee Family Café.