Traverse City Record-Eagle

Archive: Sunday

October 13, 2013

Cafe will cater to families

TRAVERSE CITY — Eat. Learn. Frolic. That’s the idea behind a new family friendly business that’s coming to town.

Elf Café is garnering local and national attention, even before it opens its doors. Even before its owners announce its location.

Local attorneys Melissa Whitman and Ellen Fred have long thought there was a need for a place in the community where parents can connect with other parents and children can play in a positive environment and eat healthy food.

“We both had the same experience when we had new babies,” Fred said. “We felt a sense of isolation, because there was nowhere to go to connect with other parents. There’s a lack of places to get a good quality meal, where kids can have fun and where parents can take a break.”

“I remembering thinking there was no place to go. It was really limiting,” said Whitman. “I missed the freedom to go places and do things. When you have a really young child with you, you want a place with a bathroom with nice changing facilities and where it’s okay if there’s a meltdown.”

Whitman had a vision of Elf, literally dreaming up the idea in vivid detail.

“It came to me that we needed to start a child-friendly café, a place for parents to go with their children, one that’s a great experience for the parents, too,” said Whitman.

She shared the idea with Fred, who immediately started brainstorming about possibilities and the concept of Elf began to take shape. Fred brought a love of local agriculture to the project, which combined nicely with Whitman’s passion for design.

The two decided to become partners, and eight months later they are close to securing money needed to make Elf a reality. All the start-up cash came from local, private investors.

Text Only

Facebook
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Associated Press Video
Obama: Putin must push separatists to aid MH17 probe Michigan inmates no longer allowed to wear orange due to 'OITNB' Adam Levine Ties the Knot Sebastian The Ibis Walks Beautiful Bride Down The Aisle | ACC Must See Moment NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong Faces of Souls Lost in Malaysian Plane Crash 105-year-old woman throws first pitch Man Creates Spreadsheet of Wife's Reasons for Turning Down Sex 'Weird Al' Is Wowed by Album's Success Rory McIlroy struggles, surges, wins British Open NOW TRENDING: Real life Pac-Man Explosions as hot air balloon crashes in Clinton DUI Driver Dragged to Safety by Officer After Walking Onto Busy Freeway Celebrities That We'd Like to Send to the Moon Spectacular lightning storm hits London Malaysian Flight Victim Was South Florida Grad Rory McIlroy on pace to break British Open records Officials Fear MH17 Site Now Tampered by Rebels Lowes employees repair Vietnam vet's wheelchair Widow of Staten Island man who died after NYPD takedown says he was unjustifiably targeted