Sweet Peas Café Makes Dining with Children Delightful
Danielle Pastore recently opened a new, child-focused restaurant with outdoor seating and a play area, a respite for parents who dread eating out with young children in Dunedin.
A safe, relaxing place where your child can play with their friends and parents can sit with other parents and enjoy a healthy meal. The kind of place where the only option for kids isn’t fried mystery meat, and you don't have to worry about the children getting bored and acting out. Sounds nice doesn't it?
Well, recently opened Sweet Peas Café in downtown Dunedin has created the impossible.
Owner Danielle Pastore tried to think of everything a family would want. The menu focuses on local and organic ingredients and all items come in either kid sizes or adult size. Pastore also installed an outside hand washing station where children can clean up before eating and still be under their parent’s watchful eye.
When Pastore was just a new mom, she started taking her young daughter to moms groups. Although she enjoyed the socialization with other moms, she didn’t like how quickly everyone had to depart to head home to make lunch.
She searched but found no such place, so she decided to open one herself.
As the idea ruminated in her head, the perfect location became available in downtown Dunedin behind Pioneer Park: a red house that was formerly Paper Players Stationary Shop. But Pastore was not quite ready to pounce and the location was quickly rented.
A few months later the location became available again and this time Pastore was not going to let the opportunity pass. She rented the space and transformed it into a playful wonderland with a pirate ship, a wooden playhouse, a sandbox and cozy chairs. She worked with the city to plant the grounds with native butterfly plants. She installed a commercial kitchen and added a large family-friendly bathroom with a sturdy diaper changing table and a roomy bench for sitting.
Besides offering regular tables to eat at, head server Melissa Kayton can take patrons’ orders anywhere on the fenced property. That way parents can sit by the sandbox or the playhouse and have food brought right to them. (A mother's dream come true.)
Sweet Peas is open for breakfast and lunch.
“The most exciting thing for me has been how many parents have come up and said they always wished for a restaurant like this,” Pastore says as she looks across the property at all the children having fun.
Want to Go?
Sweet Peas opened its doors on October 23. Stop by and try a cup of Java Planet coffee. It is the only organic, fair trade roaster in the Tampa Bay area.Then review your experience on Patch!
- Where: Sweet Peas Cafe, 434 Virginia Lane
- Contact: 727-734-0909, http://www.thesweetpeascafe.com
- Hours: Tuesday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sunday and Monday, closed