Well, what can I say it’s been an amazing first 6 months running my own business, and what an end to 2014 with the great Frozen Christmas parties.

With the hustle and bustle of running the café, organising the parties, keeping on top of marketing and stock control it’s sometimes easy to forget why I wanted to do it in the first place, but then I remember, balancing a great job with flexibility to see my family really is the dream, and so far so good.

Running Lollipops is hard but satisfying work and I’m so lucky that having incredible staff gives me a few precious days a week to spend with my two girls. So firstly here is a public thank you to Jess, Jody, Leila, Beth, Tori, Charlotte, Hannah, Emma and Ellis – you are all amazing.

Saying goodbye to 2014 was a blast at Lollipops. The Christmas parties were hosted by our beautiful Princesses Elsa and Anna, the children enjoyed soft play treasure hunts, a Christmas disco, Frozen themed party food and a visit from Father Christmas who handed out lovely gifts.

It was the first time we tried such a full-on party for the public and luckily all tickets sold out in two days for both events. The whole affair was topped off by a Frozen ice castle which we made at the top of our three storey play frame and as the children entered the café we turned off the lights, cranked up ‘let it go’ and invited them to go and find the princesses in their ice castle.  The look on their little faces was priceless and the feedback from the parents was great. So we’ll definitely look to do more seasonal parties! Bring on Easter.

Well, touch wood we have had a great start to 2015 Exclusive parties are pretty much sold out for the first few months, with only a few slots remaining for March and bookings coming in for as far ahead as September. Dave has been giving me crash courses in digital marketing and apparently: ‘SEO is dying and targeted paid media is coming of age’ – who would have known? Anyway it seems to be doing the job whatever it means, and I’m reliably told that our cost per click is very efficient – which is, I guess why are parties are booking up so fast.  So business wise we are on track to have the best January in Lollipops history, whilst the marketing is all well and good I think it’s a real testament to our staff going the extra mile for our customers, based on the continued lovely feedback I keep getting.

So what’s the plan for change in 2015? Well firstly we really hope to make some changes to our play frame, outside of repairs and maintenance we have plans to extend the baby and toddler area, introduce a big slide and maybe a fun ball pit. Let us know if there is anything else you would add? We already have stand-alone bits on the way like mini dinosaur slide and building bricks.

Our classes will keep running throughout the week with regular favourites like Minky Moos, Baby Ballet and Jo Jingles along with some exciting new classes. So watch this space or let us know any requests.

We are thrilled to announce that our soft play special offers have become a regular weekly occurrence  for 2015 too:

£1 Stay & Play - Monday from 1pm (term time only), Saturday 9-9:30am

£5 Play & Dine - Tuesday to Friday from 2:30pm, includes any child’s meal

Grandparents day - Wednesday all day, free tea of coffee for all Grandparents

Twin Tuesday & Thursday - £3 entry per set of twins all day

Childminders - Everyday £2 per child after 12pm

And happily we are going to keep running our special events outside of normal parties so keep an eye out on the website and Facebook as tickets go quickly.

Finally just a huge thank you for making our first half year in Lollipops a great experience. It’s be totally fun running the place, I have loved meeting and getting to know all of our regulars so thank you so much for the continued support, and here’s to an AMAZING 2015 @ lollipops play café..

p.s. my new years resolution is to blog more, and here are a few of my favourite shots from 2015.

Erica, xxxxx

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