Hi, We're Kefi

We’re passionate about child development through play.

What Motivates Us

Families Need More

There just aren’t many great places where families can play and be together. We’re creating family hangout spaces for both kids and parents. Giving kids the most fun they’ll have all week, and giving parents the space to thrive.

Play Matters

No matter our age, our gender, our race, through play, we create moments. Moments that stretch our imagination and take us to new places, new possibilities. Moments that help us learn, create, collaborate, and laugh. It’s why we’ll never stop creating more moments of play, for kids and parents too.

Friendship Moves the World

Life moves quick and can pull us in many directions, making it tough to build meaningful connections. Kefi™ is about making the time. It’s about fostering friendships. In a place, a haven, an incubator overflowing with possibilities and fun. A place of play, of relaxation, of creativity, of growth.

Our Founder's Story

Two personal, life-changing moments for Drew Panayiotou, Kefi’s founder, fueled its creation. Call them his John Cusack/Lloyd Dobler, “I don’t want to sell anything” moment and his Tom Cruise/Jerry Maguire, “Things we think and do not say” moment.

In February 2013, Drew was in a cardiac surgery center with his father at a New York City hospital. During his father’s surgery, he thought about all the other patients there, many with heart issues due to their lifestyle habits. He thought about his career in senior marketing positions and how he used his talents to sell, sell, sell products that weren’t necessarily the healthiest. It was a hard moment of reflection. That moment stayed with him for years and it keyed up his Lloyd Dobler moment of the future. He promised himself that he would “not make or sell anything processed or bad for people ever again.”

Five years later, Drew and his wife walked into a local kids’ play center with their toddler. Unsatisfied with the quality of play, cleanliness, safety and engagement of the staff, Drew realized kids deserve better…much better.

This experience prompted deeper thought from Drew about the play industry. He wondered why there wasn’t a better solution for families in a world of engaging kid’s content, innovative toy companies, and advanced technology, and why local kids’ play wasn’t so much better, especially for kids under 10. This fueled his Jerry Maguire moment.

He knew why those in the kids’ play ecosystem didn’t attack this problem and that it primarily had to do with financial returns. The toy and content companies have business models and incentives that fall short of enhancing play at a local level in a meaningful way. There is a deep issue here – a major play crisis.

Fortunately, he was in a job where he could explore new business concepts. He decided to build the case for the “play center of the future” and travel across the country to convince social-minded investors and partners that a new, socially conscious kids play company should be created. Drew is a big fan of a passage from Larry Fink, CEO of BlackRock, that states, “To prosper over time, every company must not only deliver financial performance, but also show how it makes a positive contribution to society.”

Drew, along with a talented group of individuals, are launching Kefi (keh-fee). It’s a Greek word that embodies many concepts: experiential joy, passionate, happy, fun, love for life as a way of life. As Jerry Maguire wrote, “We cannot sleepwalk. We cannot just survive, anything goes. We can take control of our lives, we can quit sleepwalking, we can say — right now, these are our lives, it is time to start living it. It is time to not second guess, to move forward, to make mistakes if we have to, but to do it with a greater good in mind.” Drew believes this is Kefi’s moment.

Partners

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