Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Highchair Uprising

I have been wanting to take my husband to a local bakery cafe called Uprising for over a year. We tried to get there once but it was closed. This time I checked the times online and was pleased to see they would be open when we would be cruising past. Our Christmas gifts to each other this year were bicycles so we have been trying to get out on them every weekend. The bike path we use goes right past the residential neighbourhood where Uprising is located, a little detour down some side streets and we are there. One of the reasons Uprising is unique is that it's located in a residential street so you need to be a local to know about it.
My husband called ahead right before we left to see if they would have highchairs. Their answering machine said to email them, "ain't nobody got time for dat," so we left home and headed there.  Our son is a big and busy 1.5 year old and unless he's in a high chair he will just want to run around everywhere. He will not be held with out a complete struggle. Needless to say our hearts sank when we arrived and found no high chair in sight.
When I went up to order our pastries and coffee I spoke to the woman at the counter and nicely asked her if there was any thought on getting highchairs for their bakery. She seemed a bit surprised that I would be asking and said gave me a bit of an aloof explanation including this -
              
      "We don't really cater for that."



She could see my surprise by that response. When I pushed her further on it by saying that we had recently purchased bikes and would like to make regular visits to their bakery and that a highchair would make those trips possible she just made another empty excuse until she saw my dumbfounded face. Then she said "I'll put your suggestion to management." Thanks, I'm grateful but I'm not sure I'm convinced after hearing "we don't really cater for that."


Her statement says to me we don't really want young families here, go away.
So we will I guess. It's such a shame because this place has that nice Saturday morning vibe, let the sunshine in, relax and drink your coffee. The sourdough loaf I brought home from there is so incredibly more-ish and yummy. But at the bakery cafe we scarfed down our berry brioche with custard and our lightly flaked pain au chocolat to get the heck out of there; from memory those were delicious too. The waitress who was busking the tables was very sweet as well. In summation I'm saying this place has great atmosphere, food and friendly wait staff but I just left feeling on the out. What a shame.
It's not something I would have considered when I was pregnant, or before; that once you become a parent, you and your child will have moments where you are discriminated against just for being a young family.

Before you get upset and say that every cafe has the right to decide on the type of clientele they want you should hear me out. I'm not asking Uprising or any cafe like it to have a toy station, or a book shelf full of kiddy books, and I'm not asking them for crayons and paper for my kid to draw on. I'm not asking to bring my mother's group there next week (who would agree that once babies are mobile cafe's like this are out of the question anyway). All I'm asking for is to sit and eat my god damn pastry and coffee in the same manner which everyone else in their cafe gets to - and that's hands free and stress free!
And guess what? Other patrons will be able to enjoy their pastries a whole lot more while my kid quietly watches the wiggles on my phone, strapped into a highchair, rather than the alternative of him jumping up and down in our arms and screaming to get away from us. I feel like this place and others have given me a 5 year ban on their establishments because I had a baby.
The woman at the counter may as well have said "Please do not come and eat here for the next 5 years. We do not cater to small children. Bye." Funny 'cause I counted 4 other children in there, 2 pregnant women and one baby (besides my own). And on the way out we ran into friends and their newborn. Wonder where that baby is going to sit in months to come? Can't sit, he's banned. 

I'm not daft enough to think or expect every place I visit should be family friendly, but I do think cutting out a big part of the market in your every-day cafe is just bad business. Some places are too small, too night club-ey,  or too posh. I get that. But a bakery cafe? Where I can just pick a pastry and drink a coffee and be done at my table in half an hour? Come on, why is that too much to ask?

Is this a new culture of cool in cafe's and restaurants - keep young families out and hipsters in?
Let me know in the comments below.

38 comments:

  1. I'm guessing they won't stay high chair free for long. If it's a local neighbourhood cafe surely they have to cater for the families. It is a bit of telltale sign though isn't it? We don't have highchairs, so you can't eat here. Whoops. Sorry :/

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  2. Leanne Shea LangdownFebruary 10, 2015 at 7:07 AM

    They'll cave. Surely. They'll be losing too much business!
    Leanne @ Deep Fried Fruit

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  3. Many cafes are still finding their way when it comes to catering for everyone and that's ok. Your bub won't need a high chair soon enough, but it is a welcoming commodity for any local cafe to have, especially if it is local fmailies they go to attract. Some places are great with families, maybe they should check them out and see that it can work and it won't be the end of the worlds to buy a high chair and a few boxes of crayons ;)

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  4. That answer is straight up isn't it. Righto! I'm sure they will pop down for a cheap highchair before long.

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  5. Why don't you grab one of those material seat harness thingies (sorry no idea what they are called) but it would be small enough to pop on your bike, then strap him into his own seat and happily munch away. Don't miss out because of that skim-soy-hazelnut-organic-latte making hipster.

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  6. I'm not sure what that is Malinda? Another thing to pack for a toddler on our bikes. YAY. haha. It does sound as if it would come in handy around these parts though. Thanks

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  7. That's what gumtree or Ikea is for :) @Karin @ Calm to Conniption

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  8. I had a friend tell me this morning that she wouldn't go there unless there were highchairs. It's too bad, they really do have yummy stuff!

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  9. @Renee at Mummy, Wife, Me I guess we shall see what happens. Did you ever get annoyed by places that were totally family friendly but then the bathroom had no change table. I know one of them. I had to change my baby on the bathroom floor. NASTY!

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  10. Yeah I know, another thing to carry but could be handy if you do it a lot. Lots of versions but they all pretty much look like this.

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  11. It is a bit sad that you got such a negative response from the lady in the bakery. Lots of places had high chairs available when I had babies which makes it so much easier. High chairs are not expensive and they would only need a couple. If they got ones that are made from hard plastic (so easy to clean) and that fold up when not in use then they wouldn't take up too much space and clean up would be as quick as wiping down a table. Let's hope they listen to you. No longer needed for my kids but there are grandchildren! :)

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  12. Jess, I agree completely but until we have a perfect world, there's always these little beauties: http://www.supremecare.com.sg/Baboz.htm We got one of these when we were still in Newy with Annika. Even then, you couldn't always guarantee a safe and secure seat for bubz. The fabric harness is less awkward than it looks. Hope the business is still active - HA!

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  13. I am sorry you are unhappy about our lack of high chairs. I is no way an attempt to make families unwelcome. As you probably noticed we don't have much seating at all, actually we are not allowed any more than 15 chairs in total according to the council DA we were granted. To get around this I have tried to make people feel welcome outside, where their children if not happy sitting inside are able to run around, often I have a bowl of chalk outside so children can draw on the pavement. We are in the process of building a new awning to provide more shelter. This was also another battle with council, and at a huge expense. I simply have decided not to invest in high chairs, but plenty of families are happy with the casual envornment we provide and sit on the bean bags we have scattered around outside or take their children accross to the well equipt park just accross the road and have a picnic, I have even delivered coffees across when children are too impatient to wait.

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  14. There's enough to think about when you have a baby, without stressing if there's no high chair. if we went to a place that didn't have one, it was a one and only time. It's a shame for them that they're missing out on a whole group of customers.

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  15. Natalie @ Our Parallel ConnectFebruary 11, 2015 at 6:22 AM

    Love the cheats highchair. We are out of the high faze but I must admit it was the worst stage for me. I think it was because I hated cleaning it and once found things in there that I didn't even know still existed in the 20th century.. lol

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  16. Thank you Alice for taking the time to respond to this post. I am completely empathetic to your situation with council. I have mentioned the plight of small businesses dealing with our council on my FB page several times. It's something that gets me very angry to think about because our city has so much potential and I constantly see the N.C. holding it back from reaching that potential. When I moved here in 2002 there was nothing around like your bakery so I'm glad you have been successful! You do deserve it because your place is lovely and your product is top quality, and most importantly it's a local product.
    I'm not sure if you are saying highchairs are included in the 15 seat allotment, none the less that is not very much seating at all, considering that nice open space you have out the front. I feel for you there.
    My response would have been considerably different had I heard that this was more a council issue than a small family issue from that employee. Unfortunately my son is too small to be let loose in the pebbles as he would likely run into the road, or around the corner. HA who knows. He's not at the age where he uses chalk for more than one minute but I love that you provide that for your customers kids sometimes. I like the picnic idea and we may give that a go sometime, however I really do enjoy my husband and I being hands free together, and having a moment to sit across from each other and talk with out having to chase a toddler in the play ground. That's a big consideration to me, well, obviously or I wouldn't have written this post.

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  17. See I always thought the idea of going out with a youngster was to let the baby, toddler, child experience as much as they could.
    Which to most parents isn't about banishing them, locking them in a highchair if they aren't old enough to sit on a chair by themselves. Our children always sit on our knee at cafe's like Baked Uprising. We sit and drink together, eat together, we have them watch how we eat our fod, share our food. We include them in the experience, not shove them to the side.
    Maybe places like this cafe do need highchairs but considering so many of us have no problem at all taking babis and toddlers there maybe the issue isn't what you think it is.

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  18. Gussy,
    Way to make it personal.
    Wow, somehow you just made highchairs the new parenting no-no. Congrats. As if putting the baby in the highchair now makes me less of a parent; "banishing them" and "shove them to the side." Really? Come on. Last time I heard, a highchair was a chair for a baby or toddler to use for safe seating not a means of torture and cruelty, or discipline and isolation. Good grief. My kid sits right next to me at the table, and eats what we eat and gives me his lovely back-wash in my cup. I drink it all in. Like your kids, He watches me eat 'cause highchairs don't equal solitary confinement.
    Oh my God. Am I really explaining this to someone? How did this happen? What is the world coming to when I need to justify highchair use, for goodness sake, man! Clearly my parenting must be the issue here. Clearly.
    I love the parents who get really judgey because they have never had a VERY busy baby, and can't grasp that some babies come out of the womb with very busy personalities. My son's paediatrician even said, when my son was only 3.5 months, my son is on the busy end of the spectrum of children, and never stopw. But parents like you look at those of us who do have a busy one and think it's our bad parenting that makes them so wild. Tell me what I can do to tame a wild 1.5yr old. I'm all ears. My kid is not the kid who's going to sit on your lap, be my guest and try. My husband tried that at uprising and ended up with a screaming baby in his arms who was trying to jump down to run away. He ended up with spilled water when he tried to share his drink and my toddler wasn't interested because he wanted to run away and play. He didn't want our pastries either, must be his egg allergy. Maybe he just wanted to run away from his horrible parents. Yup. That's it. I'm so happy you have the calm kid who will happily sit on your knee, how relaxing for you. I have wished for those still moments many a time. Excuse me while I try to keep my kid safe, and no that does not mean experiencing everything because getting hit by a car isn't all it's cracked up to be. So I've heard.

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  19. Yes, we were given a highchair with all the padding. It's a wonder what lives under there. I had to hose the whole thing down in the back yard when it was given to us so I have an idea. GROSS! @Natalie @ Our Parallel Connect

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  20. @Lisa @ Random Acts Of Zen Exactly. Called ahead today when going for breaky with a friend somewhere else. They had a highchair even though they don't look family friendly. We all had a great time. It was one of my better experiences out with him. Success.

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  21. Yeah, it seems like it's a whole lot of bother for something that isn't really a bother at all @Kathryn Leslie

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  22. @Malinda That's so cool. I've never seen one of these before. Will look into it. Thank you!

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  23. I had a busy toddler too and he's turned into a busy 5 year old. I have to gauge his level of hyperactivity as to whether we can do somewhere that doesn't have a playground but that's not often. Even in a food court he is bouncing around. Could you get one of those portable high chairs that are made of fabric and just carry it in a backpack if you want to head back to Uprising? Not an ideal solution but at least you guys would get to enjoy some pastries in peace :)

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  24. @TeganMC @Malinda suggested a really good one below. Thanks :)

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  25. Just wanted to hand you the 2015 Hugzilla Award for Annoying People with Blog Posts. You are most welcome to it. I'm sure it will look great on your mantlepiece.

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  26. HA!!! Read this and thought you meant I'm an annoying person with a blog. I see what you mean. Did you know I just got a new mantle in the hope of winning that award. Bless you, Hugzilla. You make dreams come true.

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  27. You're in the running for that one too. LOL.

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  28. Well there are some interesting comments on this post! Firstly high chairs should be a necessity for all eating places unless they don't cater for kids ie fine dining restaurants where I wouldn't dream of taking a young child anyway. If I were a restaurant owner I wouldn't want to restrict my clientele so offering a high chair is really a good courtesy. I hope they do get one in as it will help their business, not hinder it!

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  29. I'm so sorry you had a crappy experience at Uprising. I had heard nothing but wonderful reviews of it until now, but after witnessing Charlie in action I know how busy he can be. My fingers are crossed Paleo cafe has high chairs for our lunch this weekend. Maybe we should call in advance just to make sure. :)

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  30. I do get tired of cafés not catering to kids. You can pick up a high chair for $10 on gumtree. 2-3 of those and you're set for a small venue. I sometimes feel it's just another exclusion of women (who are most often primary carers) from public life. It really doesn't take much to cater to families and that way you, as a business, are not doing yourself out of the main group in the consumer market

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  31. When we were in Melbourne we picked up a really good highchair for $5 on gumtree just for the 4 days we were there. EASY! @HandbagMafia I love the feminist perspective that you bring to this. I hadn't thought of that but it's true, I do feel excluded.

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  32. YES, the word necessity really resonates with me! Thank you @The Plumbette

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  33. Oh, Gussy, to have the perfect parenting lifestyle you have! I have boisterous identical twin boys and when they were younger, having them happily sit on our laps so they could "see how we ate and drank together" would've been near impossible. High chairs aren't about shoving children to the side, they're about safety. And that itself is an issue. A bloody important one.

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  34. I'm glad they've replied to you. 15 seat allotment for a cafe isn't much at all but surely you haven't been the only one making the request for a high chair.

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