New soft play centre and dessert bar will open in Chesterfield
A couple who have two young daughters will launch a new soft play centre and dessert venue in Chesterfield.
Ian and Susanne Biggin will officially open Kooca, on Beetwell Street, to the public on October 2.
Operations director Ian said: “We're owned by parents for parents and we’ve put into the business what we would expect to see. Whilst our girls Jessica and Ella, who are eight and four, were growing up, we spent a lot of time going around soft play centres and theme parks and I thought I can do this better.
"Our play frame is custom-built to the latest safety standards by a company called Play Creations in Wakefield. Every module of the play frame has been custom designed and has unique features such as a trampoline and climbing wall included within it. It cost almost £60,000 and is a significant cash investment to the business.”
Pony cycles and toy cars are among the attractions waiting to greet young visitors to Kooca.
Ian, 43, said: “First and foremost we're a dessert bar with freshly made waffles and crepes. We've partnered with Fredericks to stock all 18 flavours of their award-winning ice-cream."
Dessert parties will enable children to create their own wafflette complete with toppings such as sprinkles and marshmallows.
A 12-strong team has been recruited for Kooca and are tasked with upholding the best customer service. Ian said: “They are very postive, forward, confident young people.”
A room within Kooca’s premises houses a wedding boutique, called Miss to Mrs, offering gowns for hire or purchase and run by Laura Furniss who lives in Clowne.
Ian said: “While Mum’s trying on a wedding dress, the children can have fun on the play frame in Kooca.”
Three baby changing rooms and a ramp for pushchairs and wheelchairs have been incorporated into the building.
Bookings have been coming in thick and fast for Kooca, which will be open seven days a week from 10am to 6pm.
Ian said: “People have been penned in with Covid. Children have not had parties or social interaction and we can’t wait to give that back.”
Halloween parties and a month of Christmas-themed events including indoor markets and dessert parties are lined up.
The next phase of Kooca is the development of Our Tiny Town in which the business’s owners will work with the borough council and Chesterfield College to create a miniature Chesterfield within the building.
Ian said: “One of the main reasons for coming to Chesterfield is that I wanted to be part of the landscape - I want to Kooca to be a well-known respected brand that everyone knows who it is and where it's from. That's why we're partnering with people like Fredericks and working closely with Chesterfield Borough Council who have been very supportive.”
His family have invested around £135,000 in Kooca which was formerly a cakecraft shop. Ian said: “ It’s had full refurbishment: new toilets, new walls, new electrics, new plumbing. I got the keys on July 27 and since then I've been here seven days a week 14 hours a day with a large team of joiners, plumbers, electricians.”
Kooca’s name was inspired by a parrot which entertained Ian by repeating the colloquial word for its species during a holiday in the Dominican Republic.