It seems everyone at Kids Fun City is family of some kind: the customers, the employees – and even the banker.
The family that plays together stays together. That’s the strategy embraced by Spiros Anastasiadis for his unique family entertainment centre called Kids Fun City.
“Everybody has a kid in them,” explains Anastasiadis.
His 11,000 square-foot facility offers games and interactive activities that are fun for the entire family – including mini-golf, mini-bowling and group attractions Laser Frenzy Maze and Atomic Rush. Hungry families can fuel up at the snack bar with pizza, chicken fingers, hot dogs, hamburgers and more.
Kids Fun City operates at 150 Lesmill Road in North York, Ontario. Since opening there in 2011, the business family has grown to 8 part-time employees and 4 full-time employees – including his brother Evan, and his wife Fotini, who are also co-founders of the business. It’s now attracting over 33,000 customers a year.
Although the business is about having fun, Anastasiadis took the start-up process very seriously.
“When I first started do my feasibility studies for the store, I had to shop around for financing. I visited three banks to apply for the Canada Small Business Financing Program. The other two banks supplied a lot of information but they just gave me the same answers to the same questions,” he recalls. “They weren’t specific with advice for my business.”
"From the beginning, I was open to him and he was open to me,” recalls Anastasiadis. “I felt like Mazen was more like family to me than a banker."
Anastasiadis approached Scotiabank Small Business Advisor Mazen Al-Taher at a branch located on Danforth Avenue in Toronto. He found Al-Taher offered clearer advice. “Mazen gave me really good advice and earned my trust from the beginning.”
“For example, he encouraged me to spend my money on marketing instead of buying fancy kitchen equipment, suggesting I can always update my kitchen once the business is rolling,” recalls Anastasiadis. “As this is my first business, I appreciated that kind of information,” he adds.
“From the beginning, I was open to him and he was open to me,” recalls Anastasiadis. “I felt like Mazen was more like family to me than a banker.”
Anastasiadis used his own equity along with a loan for $350,000 from Scotiabank to open for business. To help manage his day-to-day expenses and collect reward points, he obtained a ScotiaGold Passport for business VISA card. He can charge what he likes to the card and avoid incurring interest charges by paying the balance within the interest-free grace period.
Because Anastasiadis books so many birthday parties online, he also opened a Chase Paymentech account to accept customer purchases on the internet as well as inside his store. And he secured a business line of credit to help cushion any cash flow crunches.
Two years later, Anastasiadis says Al-Taher continues to support Kids Fun City. “Mazen and his team visit us to see how it’s going and to ask us questions – and that is something we need from our bank. As owners we totally appreciate that kind of support,” he explains.
Looking ahead, Anastasiadis wants to grow Kids Fun City by either franchising, buying the building that houses his business, or both. “We will definitely consider working with Scotiabank to support those plans,” he says.
To find a Scotiabank Small Business Advisor near you, click here.
[DISCLAIMER: The experiences of this customer and the customer’s relationship to Scotiabank are unique to that customer and may not necessarily apply to any other individual business. The combination of Scotiabank advice, information and resources presented to this customer constitute a customized solution for that particular customer and therefore should not be expected in a different business situation.)
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