‘Modern play space’ changes hands
The Firefly Play Café has a new owner.
Jennifer Kramer took over the business, which provides an indoor play space for young children and coffee or tea for adults, in early December from founders Karen Reider and Chrissy Kilroe.
“She really values her family time, so it will help her get more of that,” Kramer said of taking over running the enterprise.
Kramer, a native of Cuyahoga Falls, had been involved in Firefly Play Café, 4822 N. High St., for about a year, holding activities for youngsters on Thursday mornings. She previously spent 11 years with COSI Columbus, the last eight of them managing the early childhood space and programming.
“So this is a very natural fit,” said Kramer, who studied special education at Bowling Green State University and who moved to Columbus upon graduating a dozen years ago.
Reider modeled Firefly Play Café, which opened in July 2010, on a similar operation she encountered in Studio City, Calif. The Coop was a play and party space that, unlike something like a Chuck E. Cheese, was geared to both children and adults.
“We’re a modern indoor play space geared to children ages 2 to 5,” the website for the café states.
It is a “modern community-focused play space where kids can run, ride on scooters, bounce, pretend-play and climb, all while mom or dad has a cup of joe and catches up with friends or email,” the site adds.
“It’s a great way to get to know people in the community and also bring them something they didn’t know they needed,” Kramer said. “We hear that all the time. It’s really fun to see that, and start to develop the relationships with both the adults and the kids.”
The new owner added that she wanted to maintain the vision of the founders of Firefly in keeping it a simple play area “that enhances creativity and enhances development of motor skills.”
“I would stay with the same thing of no battery-operated toys,” Kramer added.
She does plan on some improvements and the addition of more hours of operation.
“We’re looking to introduce a new local coffee roaster, a fairly local tea supplier and then just general enhancements to the play area,” Kramer said.
These would include making the space better for “non-walkers,” meaning crawling babies.
Kramer, who has been a Clintonville resident for eight years, plans to keep Firefly Play Café open until 8 p.m. on Tuesdays and to open it at 9 on Saturday mornings to provide an opportunity for more working residents to drop in with their children.
The website says adults and children under 12 are admitted free. The fee for children 1 year to 23 months is $3 while the charge for ages 2 and older is $5.
Updates to hours of operation are available on the café’s Facebook page, the new owner said.