Business Monday: Keiki and Kope offers coffee and indoor playground for children

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Walking into Keiki and Kope in Kealakekua – one of South Kona’s newest coffee shops – is like stopping by to see ‘ohana.

Customers leave their shoes just outside the door, as you would when visiting family, before coming into the shop. While coffee is what they serve, the real purpose of the business is to provide a safe space where parents can come to work and watch their kids play with other children in the large indoor play area.

Keiki and Kope, located in Kealakekua, opened in mid-December and offers coffee, an indoor play area as well as a variety child care activities. (Tiffany DeMasters/Big Island Now)

“It’s super difficult as a parent to find a space that is open to kids,” said Ashley Wailele Anderson, founder and owner of Keiki (Children) and Kope (Coffee).

Knowing how her children, ages 8, 5 and 3, can at times get loud and rowdy in public, Anderson, 30, wanted a place that provided parents with moments of peace and a judgment-free zone, while enjoying a cup of Joe.

Keiki and Kope officially opened in mid-December. Business has been good as it’s also filling a void where parents can take their children to after-school programs and drop-off childcare. Anderson is working with some nonprofits to host playgroups and learning programs.

The cost for entry is $10 per child. Cost for childcare with a dedicated caregiver is $50. The shop is open daily. Click here for hours of operation and schedule.


Anderson was inspired to start her business about a year ago while on a visit to Nevada. She recalled going to a few big playgrounds and feeling like she was chasing after her kids just to make sure she always kept a watchful eye on them.

“I wished there was a place I could sit down and take a breath,” Anderson said.

With a vision to create a space where parents could comfortably watch their kids, she started a Facebook page where she documented her journey in opening the business.

One of her first steps was finding a place to rent.

  • Keiki and Kope, located in Kealakekua, opened in mid-December and offers coffee, an indoor play area as well as a variety child care activities. (Tiffany DeMasters/Big Island Now)
  • Aria, 6, reads in the play area at Keiki and Kope on Jan. 28, 2024, as her mom watches nearby. (Tiffany DeMasters/Big Island Now)
  • Ariel Reynoso works at Keiki and Kope coffee shop in Kealakekua as her children play. (Tiffany DeMasters/Big Island Now)
  • Jasmine Hsu watches as her son, Kai, 2, plays with Makani, who is also 2, at the play kitchen at Keiki and Kope on Jan. 28, 2024. (Tiffany DeMasters/Big Island Now)

“I had 20 bucks in my bank account,” Anderson said. “I sold my car to get the first downpayment for the lease, which cost $1,000 per month.


The vehicle fetched $3,000. But Anderson needed more funds if she wanted to make her shop and indoor playground a reality.

She went to social media and crowd-funded and held a carnival-themed fundraiser where local vendors helped out. Between the two fundraisers, she raised $7,000.

It was enough to get into the lease, build her play areas and purchase a certified coffee cart.

From a dress-up station, including firefighter outfits, to a full kitchen with appliances to a construction zone and veterinary office, complete with printed X-rays of animals, Anderson hopes to offer a little bit of education.

There’s also a book corner with a little bean bag chair.


“And then we have a climbing area, a kind of room that wiggles out their energy,” Anderson said.

But there are activities and classes for the adults and big kids, too. Anderson said she’s starting a Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies program in March. She also has a class for people who want to create vision boards.

Anderson is also supporting entrepreneurial mothers with a spot at the front of the store dedicated as the “retail shop” for local moms and kids who have products they make and sell such as art, handmade cards and stickers as well as handmade crayons.

The shop also sells snacks and has a simple lunch menu, including chicken nuggets, grilled cheese, hot dogs and plant-based corn dogs. Anderson also serves salads.

Jasmine Hsu, of Kailua-Kona, was at the coffee house and indoor play area Sunday with her 2-year-old son Kai.

“We try to come once or twice a week,” she said.

Hsu said she heard of Keiki and Kope from another indoor playground. She enjoys it because it allows her son to play and socialize with children his age. “Sometimes he requests that I bring him here,” she said with a smile.

Hsu finds the shop relaxing and appreciates another indoor playground as it can be hot outside.

Ariel Reynoso working her laptop at a table nearby with her husband Eric was also at the coffee shop on Sunday watching their daughters – Makani, 2, and 6-year-old Aria – play in the gated play area. This was their second time bringing their kids.

“They dream about this place,” Reynoso said about her kids. “They don’t want to go anywhere else. I even tried Fun Factory, anywhere closer to North Kona where we live, [but] it doesn’t compare to the first time I’ve been here.”

Aria and Makani love the climbing wall and the slide. And while they play, Reynoso said she’s able to get work done while also interacting with her children.

“It’s a very nice, cozy spot,” she said. “It feels very inclusive.”

Reynoso said the indoor playground allows her to breathe a little because she can see her kids at all times in the different areas of play. At one point, Makani was “cooking” up something in the kitchen with Kai while Aria sat in the bean bag chair reading a book.

Reynoso hasn’t tried the coffee yet but she intends to. She also hopes to check out the other classes and events that cater to the parents and adults in the community.

Anderson plans to continue involving the public in ideas for how she might better her business.

“We try to really include the community in every decision we make because it’s for the people,” Anderson said.

Tiffany DeMasters
Tiffany DeMasters is a full-time reporter for Pacific Media Group. Tiffany worked as the cops and courts reporter for West Hawaii Today from 2017 to 2019. She also contributed stories to Ke Ola Magazine and Honolulu Civil Beat.

Tiffany can be reached at [email protected].
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