When we started working on this concept 2.5 years ago, we knew that it wasn't going to be easy to get up and running. A restaurant that focuses on special needs/disabled families just didn't exist and trust me when I tell you there isn't a lot of people who want to invest in that sort of thing. It was too new and way too risky.
Fast forward to 2017 and we have finally done it. The concept for the restaurant has changed slightly. THYME and play is a traveling impromptu Dinner Party that goes to many different locations. I have to admit for awhile there, I didn't think we'd ever get to a place where we were up and running. I didn't know how we would get the support we needed to make a difference, but you know what!? Greenville, SC you really came opened your arms to us. #yeahthatgreenville
We kicked off our first event on Sunday, the 26th of February. We advertised only on our website: Thyme and play, Facebook page, and on our meetup site: Dinners for the Rest of Us. Our reservation was open to 4 couples and their kids.
In just a week we had a full booking with 4 couples and about 2 kids per reservation.It was such an awesome feeling serving those families. What a great experience. Even our local newspaper the Greenville Journal called asking about the event and wanted to know more about us. They even blessed us with a photographer that took pictures for us. We will post that link when we get it. Needless to say, our vision for THYME and play was actually put to the test and it passed with flying colors.
This is the part when I tell you all about it!
UNA NOCHE DE CHOCOLATE! "A NIGHT OF CHOCOLATE"
In honor of February, we thought that the best way to introduce ourselves was with a themed dinner focused on
one ingredient: Chocolate.
The night started right on time with a quick meet and greet. As guests arrived they were introduced to our volunteer play area attendants, Diana Lawson, and Celynes Melendez. They went over a quick run of what each child would experience then got right to work on activities for the kids. As each guest moved from the play area to their dining experience, my husband and I introduced ourselves and told them a little bit about our story.
We started the night with a pomegranate and chocolate aperitif as each guest was seated at their tables.
At 7:00pm the first course was brought out and a quick description was given. Each course was perfectly timed to our diners, and the excitement could be felt throughout the room. No one was worried about babysitters, or long wait times. Everyone was simply enjoying their time together, the food, and that few minutes of "just us". Their kids were ok and Thyme and play was solidified.
By the last course, our diners were ready to mingle with the other parents and guests in the room. The atmosphere became more casual as the roaring fire was lit in the fire pit for anyone who wanted to enjoy it. Chef Henry and I were finally able to really talk to our guests. The kitchen was a buzz with conversations, and the kids were excited to go outside and be with Mommy and Daddy. There were no uncomfortable stares, no wait times, just a bunch of strangers enjoying a meal and socializing.
THYME and play works...
As the famous Levar Burton used to say...
"But you don't have to take my word for it!"
Here is what some of our families had to say!