Allyson K. Morena of Piccadilly Modern Play & Creative Café

Staff Writer
Columbus Parent

As Allyson K. Morena worked with her husband, Stuart Hunter, to start the bike shop roll:, she found herself jotting notes about another business.

She wanted to create a place where moms and caregivers could come together, feel productive and eat healthy.

The more she talked about it, the more Hunter encouraged her to go for it.

"He's my biggest supporter," she said.

In 2012, Morena opened Piccadilly Modern Play & Creative Café in Bexley. The play café offers classes, opportunities for play dates and networking, and light snacks and meals.

-Melissa Kossler Dutton

Tell us how your play café operates.

We've got some different aspects to our business and what we offer. It's a space to bring kids and hang out. We have good healthy food - local and organic whenever possible. We offer classes. Those range from (age) zero - we have infant massage - up to age 11 where we offer tae kwon do. We do birthday parties. We also host events and seminars.

What drew you to this business?

It started out just me being a mom and wanting places to go that I could enjoy that were clean. Places that I felt were made for me. When we first started roll:, our son was a year old. I always took him to music class but there was no time for connecting (with other parents). I was really looking for something that catered to my needs. I wanted interesting classes.

Who is your typical customer?

My typical customer is either (employed) part-time, or a stay-at-home mom who has a college degree, or nannies. I'm finding people want a place to go but don't want to feel like they are going somewhere just to kill time.

What should people expect during their first visit?

I would hope they would feel at ease and at home - but not a home where you have to feel you have to clean. A clean version of your home. I want them to be able to relax.

What sets your business apart from others like it?

There's room for all of us. We all have reason for being. I do have space for older kids here - that does set me apart. I'm just continuing to do things from the parents' perspective. Making it a place you want to be.

Do you have anything special planned for the upcoming holidays?

We will have a Halloween party and, leading up to it, drama classes teaching you how to get into your character. We also will add more drop-off times closer to the winter holidays for parents who want to shop and have parties to go to.