Coffee shop for mums

(56 Posts)
SillyBlueHat Sun 05-May-13 18:20:46

I'd love to open a coffee shop for mums, something that is baby and toddler friendly as there is nothing like that round here. I would have a baby and toddler menu, room for buggies and a small play area.
Is there anything similar near you and is it busy? I'm just worried that I am the only person who thinks its a good idea!

When my children were babies, I used to stop at my local coffee shop, I always brought food and snacks with me for them when little. Usually bought myself lunch, a cold drink and a hot drink. But we did take our time, and a table were taken where only one adult was eating.

Then my oldest was old enough for toasties and soon I bought him toasties, a cold drink and sometimes a cake/biscuit/treat washed down with babyccino. Not long after they both had this. Our trips to the coffee shop became treats for lunch, which cost me a small fortune, but hey, I had raised them to enjoy such treats out....

It is the Costa/Nero/Starbucks generation. wink

princessx Sun 16-Jun-13 10:49:08

Good idea to offer free wifi too, then you will get those without kids that like to sit in a cafe too.

In Germany loads of cafes have an area for kids. Make sure it's v clean, as grubbiness is off putting. I would be your top customer! I'm not organised (or rich!) and I eat out with the kids all the time.

Look into hosting nct bumps and babies there as an easy start off to get u on the map.

As someone who does end up eating out, any assurances of healthy food would be greatly appreciated.

CatsAndTheirPizza Fri 14-Jun-13 18:46:31

Lovely idea - but I'd want to be sure you'd make a decent profit, because I think you'd get parents who would stay and spend a limited amount. Plus, with babies involved, I think your insurances would be sky high.

SillyBlueHat Sat 18-May-13 14:59:15

Thank you so much for the replies - I'm off to google the cafes some of you have named

Empross76 Thu 16-May-13 12:58:05

I'm in Cardiff - we have two cafes specifically for mums and kids - look up 'Cafe Junior' and 'Bambeans'. Large play area and toys for the kids - they go off and play and us mums drink our coffees and chat. I think they're excellent, visit a lot and usually very busy.

MiguelMarshall Thu 16-May-13 12:50:04

Have you ever seen cafe's that also sell merchandising? Maybe you could sell the clothes alongside the coffee's and snacks.

You should definitely have a fresh baby food menu too.

I would definitely keep it niche and encourage repeat custom with loyalty cards, prize draws...etc.

I would try and organise groups/meetings for different things. For example: the other day I saw a baby sling club advertised (can't remember where). Then try to promote those events through different channels: local doctor surgery/hospital, mumsnet, organisations.

OH! What about movie/documentary screenings? Now I'm getting carried away...

Whatalotofpiffle Sun 12-May-13 12:31:33

There is one in Milton Keynes called mocha mamma I think, looks successful

xigris Sun 12-May-13 12:01:15

Silly we have one near us and it's fantastic. It's a converted shop and has a smallish play apparatus thing like you see in soft play, a baby area, a toy kitchen, craft area etc. They do simple food for children eg pasta and tomato sauce, sandwiches, etc plus lovely paninis and cakes (all home made). They also have an upmarket coffee machine. The lady that runs it also does Toddler Sensory classes and once a week does a little session in the cafe. They also do special events and iirc, she's planning on doing a Mums / Carers pamper evening at sons point. It's hugely popular in our very mixed-affluence area.

I know the lady who runs it and she thoroughly enjoys it but says its bloody hard work! Where are you planning on opening it? If you turn out to be anywhere near me then I'm sure you could get in touch with the lady who runs ours smile

scottishmummy Sun 12-May-13 11:47:15

interesting about the baby food.look at other cafes and pricing,what can local market tolerate
do crunch the numbers,look in supply costs,venue rents make sure all stacks up=profit
a good cafe is a joy to be in,so hope it is realistic goal

NotaDisneyMum Sun 12-May-13 11:38:33

Making/selling homemade baby purées would be a great USP but it would have to be a loss-leader in order to get customers through the door. The wastage and production-time would be so high I very much doubt that anyone would pay the price you would need to charge to make any profit on baby food!

If you offer the baby food at a loss, then you'll need to make more profit on other things you sell - depending on your overheads, that could make your menu expensive compared to other local coffee-shops, and you might find that 'mums' will still compare your prices with others even if the others aren't child-friendly!

If you're not planning on making all the cakes/food in house (and that's a big commitment), are there some good producers in your area that you can source from? What are their prices like? Even if there's a demand for the kind of coffee-shop you have in mind, there needs to be the infrastructure in place to support it, otherwise you won't be able to deliver what 'mums' want.

scottishmummy Sun 12-May-13 11:26:08

I went to a place tons mums,huge prams,all sat inhabiting space but only drinking 2latte
felt like a mumsy drop in centre and not like a business cafe.wouldnt go without kid
profit is about demand and turnover,that's what cuts it.and business is for profit

scottishmummy Sun 12-May-13 11:22:08

place on corner looks fab,they have all base covered adult food,kids,parties
they have parties too yikes £325 plus additional for party are so lucrative
it's a great model,see its n ldn, which will increase footfall and client numbers

Graceparkhill Sun 12-May-13 11:18:42

There was a lovely cafe in Glasgow ( now closed) which sounds similar to your idea.It was very geared up to babies and young children with fabulous freshly made food and great service.

I think ( although I may be wrong) that this was what deterred other customers. Most cafes nowadays have business types with laptops meeting colleagues.

My memory of this cafe was how long the mum and baby groups sat( obviously the place was relaxed and welcoming) not ordering much and also how much space the buggies took up. Thus making it hard to negotiate your way to a table All massive 4 wheel drive types which I presume are hard to fold.

The presence of small children didn't put me off ( at the time DS2 was 9/10) I like children but I think others probably walked on by to another cafe.

I think you need to be very sure of your market ( coming over all Alex Pollizi)

VinegarDrinker Sun 12-May-13 11:10:22

Google "That Place On The Corner" for something similar to what you are suggesting.

scottishmummy Sun 12-May-13 11:07:02

focus on broad demographic of clients,check whether the local area can support it
crunch the numbers think about costs.what's the max you could charge
write a business plan and look for any local college courses about business start up

mewkins Sun 12-May-13 11:02:27

A great idea! My friends and I have been talking about it for years. Does it need to be 'for mums' or just family friendly? Eg. Tables far enough apart to get a buggy through, a small table/ toy area, child friendly plain food as well as a good menu for adults. Attitude is key...a supposedly child friendly place set up a back room for parent meetups and closed two weeks later as they didn't allow buggies in and said that people were leaving the room in a mess. Fair enough, but a. Keep an eye on the room in use and have staff to clear tables etc anyway. Also, be open to ideas from customers.

Ps..inviting families doesn't mean you won't get other customers too... some oaps I have spoken to in our local coffee shop really like to be in a place where kids and families are.

scottishmummy Sun 05-May-13 20:06:53

homemade kids food,yes I'd go for that
have you crunched the numbers.what's the potential footfall like?
I'd still go for broad appeal,and a kids nutritious lovely food too

SillyBlueHat Sun 05-May-13 19:49:39

Hoot shoot, that's the vibe I was aiming at. And as I said I wouldn't sell jars, it would be homemade purees etc

HootShoot Sun 05-May-13 19:45:48

Just to add they are really clear that they prefer people not to bring their own food in and most people respect that. If the food is homemade without salt added I was always happy for my dd to eat it.

HootShoot Sun 05-May-13 19:42:54

There's a place near us which is amazing. It has a play room for kids with sofas and lots of toys, you pay a small amount if you want to go in. It has a cafe area which does lovely food for adults and kids, treatment rooms with a creche you can leave the kids in, and it also runs classes for kids and adults (singing and dancing, photography etc). It seems successful, I love the fact I can get my legs waxed or a message and put dd in the crèche!

scottishmummy Sun 05-May-13 19:38:00

hanging out doesn' avoid any notion if it being a mums hangout
you want to turn a profit. if you're set on catering open a decent cafe

scottishmummy Sun 05-May-13 19:35:10

therein lies problem with being A mun cafe,mums will take in own food
won't necessarily buy hipp jars etc.i do homemade so wouldn't buy a jar
if youre expecting to sell food foe kids too think that maybe unrealistic

LynetteScavo Sun 05-May-13 19:33:45

I think the best option is to go trendy....somewhere where young parents want to hang out...but be BF & toddler friendly.

Insisting I did't give my 7mo one of my own rice cakes while I bought myself and my toddler over priced organic cakes and drinks would really piss me off.

SillyBlueHat Sun 05-May-13 19:26:40

Mums surely can't argue that they have to feed their kids food that they have brought in if there is weaning food available?
Signs on tables would make it clear its not bring your own

scottishmummy Sun 05-May-13 19:22:07

most parents take in own foods for kids,you need to factor that will happen

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