Two and half years ago, Kathy Schott and her business partner Ryan Sterner opened Play Café in Hampden. His restaurant industry knowledge and her marketing savvy created a strong management team — as well as a warm, inviting place to indulge on a delicious latte — and then drink it while it’s still hot and your kids play. Their breakfast and lunch menu caters to pint-sized AND adult palettes. Their TV-dinner style kids trays are fan favorites with kids and parents (your kiddo can get the PBJ, carrots, sliced strawberries, cheese with a mini-cup of raisins.)
But come January, big changes are coming for the café. And they’re inviting a new owner to write the next chapter.
Ryan’s wife has accepted an amazing new job opportunity in Switzerland and the family will be moving after the holiday season. That leaves the business pair with a decision to make: sell the cafe? find a new business partner to buy Ryan out and run it with Kathy? Have Kathy run the cafe solo? Close?
Two things are definite: they don’t want the café to close and Kathy doesn’t want to run it solo. The core of the café’s mission is to cater to families. She feels taking on managing the café solo would place too much of a burden on her family because she would be away from her two young boys too much.
“We believe so much in what we’re doing,” said Kathy. “The great thing about Ryan and I working together is that we were able to support one another’s families. I just know how much I want to be with my own kids and doing it on my own means I would miss too much.”
But she also admits bringing on a new partner to work with might be challenging at first.
“It would have to be the perfect partner,” said Kathy. “We built this from nothing and having someone come in who didn’t put the elbow grease in… that might be hard. But if we meshed well, I’d be open to it.”
Above all, it would have to be someone who believed whole-heartedly in the vision Ryan and Kathy created.
So I asked – who would be the perfect buyer for Play Café?
“A co-op of moms. A couple. A family. There are so many people who could take this on,” said Kathy. “It’s a turn-key play café. We’ve been so successful and continue to grow. There is so much a new owner could do.”
Really, the sky is the limit.
“We’ve become part of people’s routines. We’re an important fixture in our customer’s lives. We don’t want that to go away,” said Kathy.
Think you might be interested in buying or learning more? Contact Kathy and Ryan.