Emma, Karen and Caterpillar Cafe​

After meeting through our sons at nursery, we discovered a dream that we shared…to open a family friendly café in Stratford-upon-Avon. Drawing on our personal experiences, we wanted to create an accessible venue in Stratford with a safe dynamic area for children. Along with wanting to start a play café, we also envisioned it to be an information ‘hub’ for parents, by inviting along a childcare professional once a month for a relaxed meet, greet and mingle. The aim of having professionals is to offer knowledge to parents in need of advice on a range of issues and topics, and draw attention to their area of expertise.

Caterpillar Café was then born! It opened its doors at The Old Slaughterhouse for the first time on Friday 7th July 2017.  The café is a place where it is OK for children to be a bit loud and let off some steam, basically where children can be children.

This can be hugely beneficial, not only to the stress levels of parents, but to the children as well. Caterpillar Café achieves this with its carefully designed play zone, encouraging imaginative play through role play, crafting and cooking. The play zone changes theme to transport little ones’ minds to realms with castles, knights and princesses or simply to the beach or a corner shop! There are many benefits to this type of play from developing emotional, social and cognitive skills to promoting self-confidence and self-esteem.


Emma Gurdag

Emma Gurdag

After having my son, Harris, I really wanted somewhere to go to in town, to meet other mums and not worry about him crying or crawling about. So I came up with the idea of a family friendly cafe with good food and drinks, toys for the children and space to mingle. After meeting Karen and discovering we had the same idea, it grew and grew and became Caterpillar Cafe.

Karen MacNamara

Karen MacNamara

I originally came up with the idea for a child friendly cafe after finding it hard to get into any local cafes with a pushchair. Then after having my son, I really found the need for a safe haven…trying to feed a loud baby with a 21 month old toddler running around was hard work! It was not until meeting like-minded Emma that we could make our shared vision, of a fun and friendly cafe, become a reality.