Cafe au Play Re-Opens Tomorrow, April 17th @ 8am!

Wait til you see the new look of Cafe au Play!!  We can’t wait to hear what everyone has to say about it!

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Cafe au Play CLOSED Only One More Day!

Cafe au Play will be CLOSED one more day! We will reopen on Thursday, April 17th at 8am.

We worked so hard to try to open tomorrow but repainting all of Cafe au Play is a ton of work. The new colors look amazing and we patched all the dents in the walls so Cafe au Play looks brand new. Plus we will be featuring some new furniture and a new rug. It is Cafe au Play, the sequel! 

Come and check it out bright and early on Thursday morning and let us know what you think about our improvements! Due to being closed for three days, we need everyone to come in on Thursday, Friday and Saturday! 

Take a peek below to see what we have left to do tomorrow! 

Best, Kristin Heying, Cafe au Play Director


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Cafe au Play CLOSES 4/14 & 4/15 – Updating Interior Space

Cafe au Play is CLOSING for two days (Monday, April 14th and Tuesday, April 15th) to thoroughly clean the space, patch walls and repaint the interior! We will reopen for business on Wednesday, 4/16 – normal business!  Please come check out our newly painted and updated space on Wednesday!

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Red Yarn Performing on April 5th!

Coming up this Saturday, April 5 @ 10 to 10:45am – Red Yarn & his critters are performing at Cafe au Play!

Suggested Donation – $3 per walking human.

Red Yarn is performing three Saturday shows in April & May (April 5th, 19th, and May 3rd) which will conclude his shows at Cafe au Play until the fall. Come out and enjoy his last three shows!

Red Yarn is a dynamic Portland family performer. Weaving together energetic live music, puppetry and interactive storytelling, he teaches positive values while reviving American folklore for a younger generation.

Red Yarn Photos


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March 29th @ 10:30am – Games, Storytime & Animation Studio!

SPECIAL (FREE) Spring Break Activity this Saturday @ 10:30am to Noon – Steve and Kate’s Game, Story time and Animation Studio!

Parents and children are invited to join Jason and Piera from Steve and Kate’s Camp as they read stories like Those Darn Squirrels and play interactive games like the Grumpy Frog. They’ll also bring along a few of their custom-made animation stations from the Animation Studio for kids (and adults!) to explore how to make a stop motion animation movie. Come chat about camp while begging to sit on the Grumpy Frog’s log and making your own feature film! Visit for more info!

animation email image

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Indiegogo Campaign Preparing For Launch and Barista Training Program Improvements

Dear Friends and Supporters,

For those of you who I have not yet met, my name is Marc Langlois and I’m excited to be working at Cafe au Play as the Barista Training Program Manager. I moved to Portland from my long time home in New England in the summer of 2013 and joined the Cafe au Play team in November. I made my way into food service as a cook in 2004 and found that the pace and the challenges of the food service industry were a perfect fit for me. After obtaining a BA in communication arts at the University of New Hampshire, I moved to Providence, Rhode Island. There, I worked as a barista at Seven Stars Bakery and completed an extensive Barista Training Program through the New Harvest Coffee Roasters training center. This experience influenced me to further pursue a career in coffee and gave me the drive to teach others the ins and outs of coffee and food service. Taking over the Barista Training Program has given me the chance to improve upon my own training skills and allowed me to provide others with the opportunity to enter the world of specialty coffee.

Although the Indiegogo campaign to extend our hours and create Night Grounds (an evening student-run cafe) was put on temporary hiatus while we ran our holiday fundraiser and made changes to the program, we still plan on fully moving ahead. We are working towards the official launch of the campaign which we anticipate to occur during the summer. 

In preparation for the launch, we are growing and perfecting our Barista Training Program. In order to make this program stronger and offer a more intensive work experience to our students, we have added two levels to the program. The levels are as follows:

Introductory Barista Training Program
This is the first 150 hours of training where we will be teaching the basics of making orders, learning about espresso and milk steaming, and building fundamental skills such as customer service, speed, and efficiency. This part of the program is primarily teaching participants how to master café work flow and develop basic food service and barista skills. Upon completion of our Introductory Program, you may decide, with consent of the staff, whether or not to move on to the second part of the program.

Advanced Barista Training Program
This part of the program is a total of 250 hours of training. This more intensive training program will require a minimum of 4 hour shifts and will teach you more advanced skills such as baking, mentoring and shift management, expert espresso skills, and will help you truly master the skills that you learn in the introductory program.

As well as making this fundamental change, we have created new daily goal sheets and evaluation materials to help ensure students are on track and meeting their goals. We have also been adding new students to the program and increasing the 1-on-1 instructional time. In addition, we are creating the means to build a stronger sense of community within the program by offering students the opportunity to create and host their own after hours public events at the cafe.

We are excited about these new changes and hope to further develop our program by launching the Indiegogo campaign.  A successful campaign will allow us to extend our hours and fund the necessary staffing and cafe expenses to operate Night Grounds, our evening student-run cafe. Extended hours means more students can participate in our program, and we can provide additional training and work experience to these students. This will also allow us to implement youth programming which we have not yet had the opportunity to put in place. This student-driven after hours time will offer great initiative-building experiences to those participating in the program.

Aside from implementing all of the changes to our Barista Training Program, we have one major challenge to meet before we can complete the Indiegogo campaign. This challenge is to create a video that explains our barista training program and what we can accomplish through our student-run evening cafe. This video is crucial to the success of our campaign because it is the best way to concisely communicate the goals and mission of Night Grounds to the local and national community. 

In order to create this video, we have to either raise funds for a professional videographer or rely on the donation of resources (professional video equipment) or time from our supporters who are interested in helping make this happen. If you or someone you know has professional video equipment or experience and is interested in supporting this project, please send us an email at Thank you! 

We will keep you informed as we make more progress towards the launch of our Indiegogo campaign and we hope you all have a great transition into the spring!


Marc Langlois and the Cafe au Play Staff


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March Art Show – Watercolor Students of Kristin Killops

Kristin Killops is a long time Mt. Tabor resident. She has taught watercolor for over 15 years.  Her students range from 3rd graders – adults. The class students enjoy the most is creating a class by organizing a group of friends to take the class together. In March, Cafe au Play is featuring the watercolor paintings of Kristin Killop’s students. Their bios are listed below. Please stop by this month to view their beautiful works of art!

Kristin can be contacted at 503 206-1952  or if you are interested in taking a class from her.

Featured Students:

Avery Wagner is a 13 year old student at DaVinci Arts Middle School.  She is an accomplished artist and dancer. Notecards of her paintings are available for purchase at the cafe, the proceeds to go into her college fund.

Perry Overby is a 13 year old student at Mt. Tabor Middle school. She is an avid artist whose family and grandparents fight over who gets her next painting. Her grandparents have commissioned her to paint a picture.

Lily Hillebrandt is 13 years old. She is a student at Mt. Tabor Middle school. She  has always loved drawing. This is her first watercolor class.

Kaley Seeberger is a 14 year old writer and artist who attends a local middle school. She is passionate about human rights issues, social justice, and animal welfare. She has been taking watercolor with Kristin for 4 years.

Evelyn Hillebrandt is 13 year old student at Mt. Tabor Middle school. She  has always loved to draw. This is her first watercolor class.

Nora Weisbord is 14 years old and a student at Mt. tabor Middle School. She participates in Girl Scouts and loves painting.

Elizabeth Cogswell is an artist and dancer who attends DaVinci Arts Middle School. She is 13 years old.

Maggie Salter is an 8th grader at Mt. Tabor MS and has been taking watercolor art lessons with Kristin Killops for 5 years. In addition to watercolor painting, Maggie loves baton, ballet, dance and gymnastics. Maggie is selling her watercolor notecards to help pay for a science education trip to Costa Rica and to compete in the 2014 National Baton Twirling Championships this summer. Maggie is selling her cards for $12.00/set of 6 notecards with envelopes, and she is donating $1.00/set to Cafe au Play! For more info: Watercolor Notecards by Maggie.

Middle School Art Show


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