It had been on the cards for a while - temporary closure, stock sales, changing opening hours - but now it has finally come to pass: Eat Play Love, the amazing family cafe in Battersea is closing for good next week.
Happy memories will be left, but also a massive void for the families of Battersea.
Their Facebook announcement today was heartbreaking.
"It's complicated". The reasons why we've taken this decision are complex. But we have no doubt that the family cafe concept and business model are fundamentally sound - unfortunately it takes 2-3 years to establish a new business, especially one where things are done differently, and we just ran out of time.
To my knowledge, that just leaves That Place on the Corner, way up in Newington Green, as the only true baby/kids/family cafe in the whole of London! (Though please let me know if I am mistaken here).
Where does this leave my own cafe plans? I am confident that the demand is there, but I am quickly realising that good will and a good idea are not enough. A new cafe requires plenty of cash, a huge financial cushion, to keep it afloat in the early years until it has established itself. Mums on maternity leave are maybe not the biggest spenders out there, so perhaps a wider client base is required. Which means appealing to commuters, visitors, local business people - the lot!
I'm not exactly going back to the drawing board, but I think this does make the "pop up" model even more appealing.
It's a jungle out there...