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Our Story

We created Love Bug Café & Play for families like our own…people looking for an imaginative & educational playspace for their kids, seamlessly blended with an upscale, comfy cafe for adults serving gourmet coffee, healthy food & snacks.

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Love Bug Café & Play was founded in 2018 by Steven Brisson and his wife Laura (and an incredible team of advisors) as a result of their daily plight as working professionals and parents of a young child in New York’s historic Tribeca neighborhood.

Our Story
Along with hundreds if not thousands of other young families looking for a place where both parents and kids can be themselves, we created Love Bug Café & Play with the goal of solving a real pain-point for families in Lower Manhattan. 

While the neighborhood offers an abundance of gorgeous parks and outdoor play areas and activities for young children ages 0-6, there is an extreme lack of indoor play spaces for the nearly year-round brutally cold/blistering hot/inclement weather along the riverfront, and truly nowhere for parents or caregivers to gather and socialize, specifically over coffee.

And while there are a handful of indoor play spaces, most are filled with soft foam tumbling mats in a gymnasium-style indoor playground setting...with literally nothing for the parents to do but huddle in a cramped corner or meander aimlessly while their kids roll around for 30 minutes. And despite steep monthly membership fees, no real sense of belonging. There had to be a better way to equally appeal to adults and children, simultaneously, and to fuel their imaginations

Our Solution
Love Bug Café & Play is an entertaining, educational and imaginative playspace for kids blended seamlessly with a comfy, upscale café and grown-up haven serving gourmet coffee, healthy food and snacks for all. Simply put, it's a place that is equally appealing to adults and children alike—something that's been sorely missing from this neighborhood. As parents to a 4 year old boy, we knew this firsthand—we've taken our son to virtually every restaurant in Lower Manhattan—and too often the extremely limited kid's menu is filled with fried, fatty or bland options. We set out to change that by working closely with our buyers to find locally-sourced, organically grown products for our culinary team to develop a single menu that offers fresh, healthy dishes that parents AND their kids will feel good about. 

Additionally, one of our core beliefs is that good business is better business—not only are we huge proponents of equality, diversity & inclusion in the workplace, from day one we committed to donating a portion of all proceeds to the local community and national charitable causes that are near & dear to our hearts.

New York's historic Tribeca neighborhood is truly just a wonderful place to live, work and raise a family. We couldn't be happier to be giving back to the very same community that has so warmly embraced us.

 

 

LEADERSHIP

Steven Brisson, CEO/Co-founder
steven@lovebugcafeplay.com

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Steven is a 25-year veteran entrepreneur who leads, coaches and mentors high-growth startups—from ideation and strategic concepting through go-to-market execution and ongoing scale. Industry verticals include design, technology, F&B, personal care and professional services. His investment portfolio reflects a deep understanding of marketplace dynamics and passion for helping other founders solve unmet consumer needs.

 

Laura ManessCo-founder
laura@lovebugcafeplay.com

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As the CEO of Havas New York, the flagship office for ad agency Havas Worldwide, Laura is a well-known force in the industry with over 20 years of leadership and strategic marketing experience ranging from digital pure-play agencies to globally integrated ad networks. Now in her 5th year with Havas, Laura is driving a culture of creativity and innovation for some of the most recognized companies in the world including ADP, IBM, TD Ameritrade, Keurig Green Mountain and conEdison.