Connect
To Top

Meet Jeff Carl of Whipples Fun Center in North Phoenix

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.

Contact Info:

Getting in touch: VoyagePhoenix is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in

  • Phoenix’s Most Inspiring Stories

    Every neighborhood from Phoenix to Scottsdale to Tempe has its own vibe, style, culture and history, but what consistently amazes us is...

    Local StoriesSeptember 20, 2018
  • The Influencers

    VoyagePhoenix owes a huge debt to the incredible local community of influencers – from fashion bloggers to foodies – who put...

    Local StoriesSeptember 19, 2018
  • #AZCreatives: the local artists who inspire us

    Through a mix of mediums, formats and perspectives local artists illuminate the unknown, color the previously black-and-white and add depth to...

    Local StoriesSeptember 18, 2018
  • Fun Things to do in Phoenix

    The editorial team shares some of the most noteworthy events in Phoenix over the next few weeks. Check them out below and...

    Local StoriesSeptember 18, 2018
  • The Trailblazers: Rewriting the Narrative

    The editorial team has a special attachment to our new series, The Trailblazers: Rewriting the Narrative, because so many of us feel that...

    Local StoriesSeptember 18, 2018
  • The Thought-Provokers: Celebrating Artists & Creatives

    Phoenix has always had an artistic soul.  The culture and heritage of our city, like most great cities, owes a tremendous...

    Local StoriesSeptember 18, 2018
  • An Artistic Voyage: exploring local creative and artistic works

    Raw, unfiltered creative expression – from stories and photographs to illustrations and paintings – is at the heart of VoyagePhoenix.    In the...

    Local StoriesSeptember 14, 2018
  • Flashes & Strokes: a Tale of Two Mediums

    The digital and traditional arts are thriving in Phoenix. From newer, technology based media like photography and digital art to more...

    Local StoriesSeptember 13, 2018
  • #AZCreatives: the local artists who inspire us

    Through a mix of mediums, formats and perspectives local artists illuminate the unknown, color the previously black-and-white and add depth to...

    Local StoriesSeptember 11, 2018