LIVINGSTON, NJ — Rock & Roll Hall of Famer DMC, of Run DMC, recently cut the celebratory ribbon at Jumping Beans Play Café commemorating its grand opening at 615 South Livingston Avenue in Livingston.
With kid-friendly activities such as climbing structures, a bouncy house, a soft slide and a sensory playroom full of toys, the local café offers a unique opportunity for parents and caretakers to relax with a beverage from the JavaBar, which serves light snacks and ice cream in addition to “bean-to-cup” coffee, espresso, cappuccino, iced coffee and more.
A sitting area overlooking South Livingston Avenue adds to the sofas that are situated across from the climbing structures to allow parents to supervise their children. The facility also features a party room in the back, and additional entertainment pieces will be installed according to feedback from customers, according to owners Dr. Owen Legaspi and Dr. Simone Edwards.
“We saw a need for an indoor playground in Livingston because people were traveling to other towns for them,” said Legaspi, adding that the facility’s motto is “Embracing all Children” and that his team places a great emphasis on cleanliness.
Legaspi, a physical therapist at neighboring A-Plus Physical Therapy Center and the owner of several other businesses, explained that this particular business model occurred to him because he rarely saw children with special needs at the playgrounds he visited with his own kids.
At Jumping Beans Café—which has consulted with physical, occupational and speech therapists to design its playground— a sensory room filled with toys selected to promote fine motor-skill development are a hit with kids of all abilities.
“We embrace everyone,” said Edwards, a school counselor and a national certified mental health counselor. “We want to be a place where parents can bring neurotypical and special needs children and feel included, not judged.”
Edwards, who recently earned her doctorate in educational psychology, has a background in both mental health and education. She has previously worked with special needs students from ages 3 to 21 and also wrote a children’s book called “Jump and Bean” about embracing children of all abilities.
Having played three sports at Farleigh Dickinson, Edwards has a great deal of athletic experience as well. In addition to co-owning the Livingston-based café, Edwards is also the owner and chief executive officer of the champion-winning New Jersey Titans professional women’s football team as well as the founder of Livingston’s holistic wellness facility, AlliedMedPlus.
Although Legaspi and Edwards attended Belleview High School at the same time, they said they did not know each other as teenagers. As fate would have it, the two found each other years later when Edwards sought physical therapy treatment for an injury.
They noted that the benefactors of their chance meeting are Livingston’s children and parents.
When Jumping Beans Café hosted a soft opening in February prior to last week’s ribbon cutting, the owners said they received an extremely warm welcome from Livingston families.
Jumping Beans Café is currently in the process of adding activities for 7-to-10 year olds and plans to launch a special-needs day camp this summer.
CLICK HERE to learn more or contact the café at (973) 500-4550 or [email protected].