Board game cafes are becoming more and more common but have you ever seen one in a bus? That is exactly what Cakes and Ladders is! We found out how the new fixture in Wood Green, London came about...
Can you tell us how cakes and ladders came to be and why a bus!?
Inspired by their passion for board gaming culture and the ability of games to bring people together, Ruth and Hywel began working on their dream for their own community board game cafe and social enterprise in 2015. They recognised the growing demand for more community spaces in North London and began to attend local street markets and run pop up board game sessions in local cafes and bars.
Early in 2018, Hywel and Ruth decided to leave their jobs to focus entirely on finding the right premises for the cafe. They soon met Alex from Earth Ale, who was relocating his microbrewery to Wood Green, and about to open a taproom on a double-decker bus in Blue House Yard, Wood Green. Looking for a cafe to run on the bus during the daytime and surprisingly happy to house the ever-increasing board game collection, Ruth and Hywel decided to come on-board... Excuse the pun!
What are the unique challenges and opportunities of the bus?
Space! We've had to get very creative in terms of displaying our ever growing board game collection, and stocking all of our lovely drinks, snacks and assorted cakes!
Fun! The bus is a very different and memorable space, which appeals to children and adults alike. We think the sense of fun and enjoyment it inspires ties in perfectly with what we are trying to achieve by spreading our love of board games to the masses.
Can you tell us any memorable moments that have happened in the bus?
One of our most memorable moments was our launch party over the summer - we had a fully packed bus with everyone enjoying games, coffee, cake and beers. the sun was out, and we also had about 100 or so people spilling out into the Blue House Yard - the party went on until 2am if memory serves correctly!
What board games are most popular with your customers?
Some of our most popular board games include classics such as Scrabble, Guess Who, and (of course) Monopoly! We also have lots of interest in modern party games like Cards Against Humanity, Obama Llama, and Cobra Paw, and newer strategy games such as Azul and Sagrada. Our two-player game section is also hugely popular, as a trip to Cakes and Ladders makes a great date night for couples.
Where can people find our more information about Cakes and Ladders?