Family Business of the year
Little Street was inspired by our two children (now 6 & 7 years old). When our daughter was little, she struggled with change & new situations, so role play helped her make sense of the world. After my husband was diagnosed with epilepsy, we needed to find a new way to share work and childcare, so decided to open our own business offering role play in a realistic child-sized town. There was nothing like it in the UK at the time, so despite being risk-averse, we invested our savings and made the leap. My sister had worked in early years for a decade and was so excited by the concept that she joined our team and helped us to design Little Street in line with the early year’s curriculum. She still works with us both onsite at our first venue and in the back office. My mother helps out where role play costumes are not available in the shops, hand making mini postbags and various other bespoke items. Our children are actively involved, testing the toys and giving feedback on new role play areas. They also enjoy working with us onsite when they get the chance, helping to tidy up and greeting customers.
We receive rave reviews from parents because we limit visitor numbers to ensure a quality play experience. We close between sessions to clean and re-stage the playrooms and get positive comments on the exceptional cleanliness, and quality of toys and props available. Parents rate the educational benefits of pretend play and praise the customer service we provide. Shortly after opening, we received inquiries about franchising. As we wanted to expand Little Street without losing the family feel, we decided to select other families to run the franchises. In May 2017 our first franchise opened, run by a local family with two young children. We have three further franchises to open this year, all run by families with little ones. We feel our greatest achievement has been balancing managing a successful business whilst still being there for our children.
What town/city are you based in?
Frimley, Surrey (South East)
Number of generations
Leisure, Travel & Tourism
Number of employees