Work and Play Cafe Brings an Inclusive, Family-Friendly Cafe to Ypsi

Work and Play cafe members in the game room. Photo courtesy of workplaycafe.org.

The Work and Play Cafe’s first priority is inclusivity. This means opportunities for people of all different backgrounds and opportunities to come together in a safe space. The organization first opened its doors in March 2022 and has been growing in popularity ever since. 

“There are always opportunities for learning and growth,” Amy said. “People who come seem to enjoy. I think if we had a broader reach and more people coming that would be better. [We are] trying to stay open to what people are interested in and what people would like to see this space be used for. It is something that we always want to make sure we are doing.”

Steve and Amy Berg founded the Work and Play Cafe together. The organization is located at 444 N. Hewitt road in Ypsilanti. 

“My husband and I thought that it would be something that we wanted to open in the community as an inclusive community space that is welcoming to all and offers a variety of events and activities,” Amy said. 

There are constantly events happening at the Work and Play Cafe. From movie nights to karaoke nights all the way to professional development opportunities, the cafe provides a variety of opportunities for all age groups and interests. 

“I really love the events and connecting with people with the community, connecting with my coworkers,” Amy said. “People coming together and just having those connections I think is my favorite part. And karaoke night.”

Many of the staff members have a variety of roles, from leading activities and events to working in the cafe. Brooke McGee, a staff member at Work and Play, runs story time, nature club, makes drinks as well as other tasks. The staff prioritizes quality but also manages to have a lot of fun in the process. 

“My favorite thing here is making the drinks, it’s very fun, very easy to do if you are well trained and it is a blast,” staff member Da’Vian Countee said. “[Working here] is a very good way to level up your job experience.”

Within the cafe, the team serves coffee from RoosRoast and baked treats from Cookie and Crumb. They also have a mural on the wall by local artist Christian Rekowski, also known as “Chis’ Crafts.”

“We try to sell our food and drink from local companies,” Amy said. “[We are] certainly open to collaborating with other businesses as much as possible.” 

Outside of the many events, the Work and Play Cafe has a variety of rooms for members to use including a game room, play room, cafe space and work room. The Work and Play cafe offers a tiered system for members with options ranging from $0, $10 or $30 per month. 

“We want to be accessible and inclusive of everyone so that complimentary membership was important for us to be able to offer,” Amy said. 

In the words of Da’Vian, “if you are looking for a drink, or some food, or to interact with folks then definitely come by.”

“Thank you for your support and keep coming and keep letting us know what we can improve on,” Amy said. “It won’t hurt our feelings, we want to know how we can grow and be better [to] better meet the needs of our customers and community.” 

Work and Play Cafe at 444 N. Hewitt Rd., Ypsilanti. Learn more at workplaycafe.org

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