Today we’d like to introduce you to Jeff Carl.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Whipples is a family-owned and operated business specializing in fun for the entire family. With attractions like laser tag, bumper cars, trampolines, Lazer Frenzy, arcade and Ballocity – a two-level climbing structure with slides, air fountains and cannons that shoot foam balls. And if you are hungry, our Whipples Café has something for everyone!
We also host events for groups such as the Young Native Americans and Boys and Girls Clubs of Phoenix and most weekends you will find friends and families celebrating birthdays.
As a family fun center and a family-owned business, we believe in supporting our local schools. We work side-by-side with many schools and PTSA’s hosting and supporting fund raising events.
We are also a growing and evolving business and are always looking for ways to be a part of the community; we want to make sure we are embedded as much as we can.
We got into this business because we saw a void in the marketplace that we thought we could fill. Though we completely believe in our business we recommend that people do their research and make sure you network as much as you can. Our business is all about positive word of mouth and that’s what we try to cultivate everywhere we go or anyone we encounter. And we always tell our employees – you work at a fun center, your first job is to have FUN and your number one priority is to make sure everyone else is having FUN!
Having small children, we spent a lot of time going to birthday parties and hosting many ourselves. What we thought was lacking at those places was a way for parents to sit down and have a conversation or catch up. The party places were always geared towards getting kids through parties as fast as they could and some places didn’t even have a place for parents to sit. We started day dreaming about what we would include at a fun center. That’s what led us to Whipples design and layout. From having good sight lines of the facility to keep an eye out for the kids, to multiple seating options, we really thought about the adult first when thinking of the design. So you won’t see children themes or characters, but more soothing, fun colors that appeal to multiple age groups.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
A lot of struggles. From funding – nobody wants to give you a million dollar loan when you have zero experience in the family entertainment industry – to finding a location (same reason as funding) to build out, it’s been a hard road every step of the way. And it doesn’t stop there, now that we are open, getting people to know we are here is another struggle and then making sure the experience is great from start to finish. And just before we opened AZ passed a law raising minimum wage from $8 to $10 with .50 cent raises annually until they reach $15. That is huge for a small business like ours where we require a lot of staff.
Please tell us about Whipples Fun Center.
As I mentioned in the first question, Whipples is a family-owned and operated business specializing in fun for the entire family. With attractions like laser tag, bumper cars, trampolines, Lazer Frenzy, arcade and Ballocity – a two-level climbing structure with slides, air fountains and cannons that shoot foam balls. And if you are hungry, our Whipples Café has something for everyone!
What sets us apart is that we are not a franchise and I’m in the shop every day. That’s what we are most proud of. Plus our connection to our local community.
If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
Well I think there is always something you could always do or have done better or differently in hindsight. There is a Japanese word ‘Kaisen” that means continuous improvement that businesses go by. That’s what we strive for.
- Address: 1510 E. Bell Rd. #300
Phoenix, AZ 85022
- Website: www.whipplesfuncenter.com
- Phone: 602-802- 8350
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/whipplesfuncenter/