For many, parenting can sometimes feel similar to the image of a hamster on a wheel, constantly running without ever reaching your destination. Alice Patterson is a Haligonian, mother and entrepreneur who has developed an idea to solve some of that chaos.
Patterson is in the process of creating Je T’aime Eco Artistic Living Space and Cafe. Je T’aime will be a space where both parents and children can come and be engaged while both their needs are being attended to. Je T’aime is not a day care. Patterson’s intent is to create a sense of community and family with the kids.
“In this day in age everything is busy,” says Patterson. “Life is busy and hectic and it’s easy to get away and switch focus into the humdrums of life.”
The idea for Je T’aime has been rolling through Patterson’s mind for a long time. She believes Halifax is in need of a space where parents to get in and get dirty with the kids. She also believes this goes hand in hand with the need for businesses to be more on the forefront of environmental awareness.
“As a mother it can be trying at times to be able to go out and do things with my kids and keep them engaged while being engaged myself,” says Patterson.
She's has been working hand in hand with CEED on the project and has found their help indescribable. “You can’t imagine the amount of support they offer for you,” says Patterson. “To literally have a team of entrepreneurial experts with you at your side cheering you on, helping you and giving you advice is wonderful.” She's also currently running an indiegogo campaign to help cover some of the start-up costs.
Though she has not yet decided on a location, she knows it will be on the Halifax peninsula and preferably in the north end of Halifax. The cafe itself will serve all organic and local food, with menu items mainly provided by Local Source and a special menu for kids. The coffee provided will be Just Us.
“It just goes back to all organic, local and fair trade,” says Patterson. “We want to keep our carbon footprint as small as possible.” Patterson says the setup of the space will depend on the location however she envisions the center of the room being set up for the kids. There will be play structures, space for arts and crafts and reading nooks with tables set up around the room for parents to be able to sit and have coffee but also watch their children at the same time. She'll also offer a separate space in the building for private parties.
Patterson believes that children are our future but that this unfortunately sometimes this gets forgotten. “It can be fun and exciting for the children to learn to take care of themselves, the planet and others,” she says.
Look for Je T’aime Eco Artistic Living Space and Cafe in Halifax sometime in late September early October. Follow updates at @JeTaimeEAFS.