Four Kids Coffee: Not Your Mom's Coffee Shop

There's a great new coffee shop in town! Grab your kids and go-they have a supervised play area and great coffee, and gluten-free baked goods

If you’re a fan of independent coffee shops or have gluten -free issues in your life, and have young children, a visit to the newly-opened Four Kids Coffee could easily become your new favorite place. 

The coffee shop at 6307 Whipple Ave. NW, just north of Dressler in Jackson Township, is unique because of its dedicated gluten -free kitchen and separate supervised play area for children.  

Owners Jason and Catherine Sackett are the parents of four young children, ages 3, 4, 6 and 10-hence the name of their shop.

 “All parents sometimes need a break,” said Jason. The couple wanted a place where people could relax with a great cup of coffee.

The shop boasts two kitchens-the second one being strictly gluten and peanut -free, to accommodate customers with food allergies.

The Sacketts have first hand experience with food allergies. Lily Kate, the youngest of their brood, is gluten intolerant.  The 3-year- old was part of the impetus for starting the business. Love of coffee was another reason.

The affable Jason said he’s “wanted to own a coffee shop since college.”  After years in the lumber business, he decided to take the plunge with his wife Catherine, an accountant.

The Sacketts schooled themselves in coffee: Jason headed west to coffee school in Portland, Oregon and Catherine headed to Holland, Michigan for a crash course to “learn how the business works and how to run a successful shop,” explained Jason.  The Sackets tasted a lot of coffee and finally settled on settled on PT’s Roaster, out of Topeka ,Kansas.  They loved the flavor-but just as important-it’s direct trade coffee. 

Direct trade coffee means that the coffee roasters buy beans directly from the growers. Since the Sacketts strongly believe in giving back to the community, up and down the business chain, PT ‘s Roaster was a good choice.

Jason will bake cookies, scones and coffee cakes, all which have been tested on his family and friends. “He’s a great baker,” said Catherine proudly.

Catherine explained that the attractive, upscale interior also reflects their belief in buying local, whenever possible.  The pendant lights over the coffee bar are from a local lighting store-Lighting By Design- and are made from bamboo, hickory and maple.  Other lighting in the shop is made from recycled glass and metal. An Amish craftsman built the sturdy walnut tables and chairs.  A meeting room for small groups is available and of course, there is the requisite free Wi-Fi.

On the far side of the café, the 800 -square -feet play area is inviting and full of light.  Geared towards toddlers and children up to about the age of 10, there’s a playhouse, a reading area and toys made from recycled and BPA –free materials.  Parents will also be able to see their kids through the doors and can enjoy their coffee, knowing that their children are being supervised.  A fee of $6.50 will be charged for children to enter the play area.  Future plans include making the space available for birthday parties.

Kristel Thomas of Plain Township is enthused about Four Kids Coffee.  As a busy mom, she is anticipating frequent visits to the shop.  Thomas is also the owner of Brain Balance, and sees a number of families that deal with gluten sensitivities.   “We will send families their way to Four Kids Coffee. I think they are going to be wildly successful...people have no idea how many families struggle with food allergies,” she said.

If you unable to stop in for your coffee and gluten free goodies, fear not:  a drive -through is also available on the north side of the building.  Promise your kids they can check out the play area next time.

During their “soft opening” Four Kids Coffee is currently open Monday-Saturday from 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m., with plans to extend their hours soon.

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RACHELLE RANDOLPH November 26, 2012 at 02:39 AM
TO ; Brandice and 'MRS'-- omg- stop your whining and criticizing. It's obnoxious. No one is forcing you to go there- you wouldn't be happy, no matter what they did. If it's not the hours, it will be the coffee, or the food, or the service. People like your love to knock someone else down , and enjoy seeing them fail.
LeahMP March 03, 2013 at 07:17 PM
I was shocked to hear so many negative comments! I Love this coffee shop!!! Although my daughter does not have any food allergies we have friends with gluten and peanut allergies and it is so nice for their moms to not have to worry about these things when we are there. My daughter is almost two and usually has some separation anxiety--the teachers in the "playroom" were wonderful about getting on the floor and playing with her so that she would be engaged. She loves it there and it is much cheaper than paying a sitter or daycare so that I can conduct work meetings or even meet a friend for a quick cup of coffee. It is also cleaner, more educational, and much safer for her than anywhere else we've been. The coffee and baked goods are delicious! I've also had their salad, chili, and rice and beans--all delicious also! The entire staff is always friendly and helpful and they go out of their way to ensure we both enjoy our time. I have boys who are 10 and 11 and my only complaint is that there was never such a wonderful establishment when they were little! I just can't say enough good things about it:)!
CAB April 26, 2013 at 11:32 AM
Sounds like a wonderful establishment and I wish you nothing but the best. I only wish that it could accommodate my son safely. He has multiple life-threatening food allergies to peanuts, tree nuts, shellfish, seafood, egg, and all poultry The fact that you serve chicken and turkey will not allow us to visit your coffee shop and play area. Obviously, there is no place that can accommodate everyone safely, but kudos to you for opening a place that works for many with other food allergies. We need more places like this. Best of luck to you and your family.
Annette May 01, 2013 at 04:26 AM
Im appalled by the negative comments. Go ahead and do what you want but don't try to hurt a new business. Very distasteful. On a happy note? Good job guys! :)
Melissa May 01, 2013 at 12:34 PM
Loved it! The Black Bean and Rice Soup was delicious and the brownie bite left me wishing I had purchased more than a bite LOL! Staff was very knowledgeable and kindly answered many questions. The decor is VERY clean and welcoming. Children are happily playing in another SOUNDPROOF area. An amazing concept brought to life! Will definitely be on my list of go to spots!


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