Lofty Pursuits is a locally owned ice cream parlor in Market Square in Tallahassee. About a month ago, I reserved their party room for Miss Julia’s third birthday. I also booked their age-appropriate story-teller and ordered balloon in house. They allow you to bring your own food in, which is great, and then add the ice cream and/or candy.
From a planning stand-point, their room was small but I liked that, because it is easier to contain toddlers. I was disappointed, though, in the over-all customer service. I got to the shop thirty minutes early to decorate and found that I also had to set up my own chairs. They only had one of the two balloon arrangements made and it was droopy, so the employee nicely replaced a couple of the smaller balloons for me while starting on the second arrangement (which he did not seem to know I had requested and paid for). Not once did an employee even ask if I needed help setting up the room.
As the party time approached, I noticed that the story-teller had also not arrived. I asked the same employee who had blown up the balloons when I could expect her and he told me frankly that he had no idea. That was that! This really annoyed me, because I had come by earlier in the week after work specifically to confirm that everything was all ready for the party.
At about 2:15, with a room full of excited toddlers to entertain, I had to go back out and find the same employee to inquire about the story-teller. He called her and found that at some point she had been told the party was at 2:30. Oops!
The story-teller was great, but she seemed a little surprised that I had already given the kids their cupcakes. I am not sure what she expected since she showed up over 20 minutes after the party started? Her half-hour session was cut short in about 15 minutes.
I was also a little surprised that the employees did not serve us our ice cream. That was the impression I got when I spoke to a sweet employee who convinced me to book the party. When I was setting up, I even asked balloon boy how the ice cream service would work and he mentioned something about us writing down our orders. However, after the party had started, he brought in a stack of coupons and told me I’d have to send my guests through the line. I’m still not sure if this is their usual practice and I misunderstood, or if this was just easier for them because it was a rainy Saturday and they were busy. Either way, I was not happy, but the kids were thrilled with their ice cream.
Finally, I was disappointed to have to haggle over my bill. Balloon boy was nice but it took him going to the back office (where I heard loud voices) to have the charge for the story-teller reduced. Also, I was angered to have to pay 18-percent gratuity. I fully expect to pay it for large group service and do not mind; however, as I pointed out to him, we were not served at all. In fact, at least twice during the party two employees cut through our room to go to the back of the store and not one of them asked if we needed any help.
The party was great, and the kids had fun; but, in hindsight, for the money, I would definitely book my party elsewhere.