New café designed to inspire
The new Inspire Café in Hamilton's Bermudiana Arcade might be a breakfast lover's paradise.
Opening soon, it will offer an all-day cereal bar, plus breakfast foods like triple-stacked pancakes and omelettes, speciality hot chocolates and Ethiopian coffee. But if you want a break from Captain Crunch, there's a lunch time buffet serving Indian and Caribbean dishes, among other things.
Co-owner Mstira Weeks said she and business partner Vic Ball chose the concept because they really wanted to offer something different.
“I am a believer in adding value to the island and bringing in something that is not here already,” Ms Weeks said. “I don't believe in competing or taking from someone else.”
She did extensive research into overseas trends, and gaps in the Bermuda market. She found that cereal cafés and board game cafés were becoming increasingly popular in places such as New York City, so she merged the concept.
At Inspire, patrons can choose from a series of board games, Operation, for example, or Jenga, and play as they eat their meal. There's even a giant Scrabble game posted on one wall.
The place has a cozy, whimsical vibe.
Eaters can sit under a giant wooden milk carton, or play on swings as they hang out with friends. Ms Weeks's husband Shane Weeks did a lot of the construction.
The café can seat 32 and also offers takeout, and delivery through the Sargasso Sea app.
There are also inspirational sayings posted in different places. Ms Weeks's favourite poster shows a goldfish with a shark fin strapped to his back with the phrase: “Mindset is everything”.
“The Inspire Café is definitely built on positive vibes,” she said. “It is scary to be going into business at this time, especially with the things you read about the economy in the paper.
“But this space landed in our laps, and we took a leap of faith. The only thing we can do is try our best and hope for the best. Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose, but you always learn something. With business, you have to pivot and adjust and you have to make it happen.”
She and Mr Ball opened FryDays, down the hall, in April 2016.
“We get good local support,” Ms Weeks said. “I always tell people you are in business to make money, but it is not all about the money. I enjoy each business for different reasons. I love a project. It is more of a passion.”
The decor at Inspire Café is playful, but aimed at adults, although families are welcomed. After 7pm the grown-ups can play games not intended for children, such as “Family Feud: After Hours Edition” and “What Do You Meme?”
“I just left Kellogg's NYC café in New York a couple of weeks ago,” she said. “There were adults in there eating cereal.”
The cereal bar concept suits Ms Weeks well since she and her family happen to be fans of it. Her husband eats it every day for lunch, and she and her daughter often eat it for dinner.
“Sometimes you just want something light,” she said.
For the health conscious, there are gluten-free cereal options and alternatives to cow's milk.
Ms Weeks recently conducted a survey on Inspire Cafe's Instagram page to find out what people's favourite cereals were.
“A lot of people came back with Cinnamon Toast Crunch, and Captain Crunch,” she said.
As the café gets off the ground she hopes to make it a community hub. People will be able to rent it out for parties, and she will also be offering family game nights, dessert tastings and poetry readings.
So far, they're still working out pricing, but will have it nailed down by opening day.
• The new eatery is on Instagram under @InspireCafebda. For more information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org