A Birthday Party at Crock A Doodle Didn’t Work for Us but, May Work for You!
They say that being creative is not a hobby, it’s a way of life. That saying especially personifies my youngest, Mimi. I can always count on her to be creating something, whether it is using a pipe cleaner or a paintbrush, she blows me away with her talent. That’s why for her birthday party this year, she asked for a birthday party at Crock A Doodle.
Read on to discover more about Crock A Doodle and why the experience didn’t work for us but, may work for you.
We were more than happy to look into it and the more that we did, the more excited we were to throw her party there. First thing is first, what is Crock A Doodle? It is a studio where you can transform ready-to-paint pottery pieces into your own amazing works of art.
The second thing you may wonder is how much is a party at Crock A Doodle and how much does Crock A Doodle cost?
We were pleasantly surprised.
There is an 8 child minimum and you pay for the pottery pieces according to the tier. So they can range from $20 and up. You can choose a tier where you want to stay at to suit your budget. They don’t only do parties, they have a drop-in studio, Mother’s Day Ideas, Baby & Toddler options, Kids Activities, School Programs, Ladies Nights, Corporate Events, Doodle to Go, Group Events, Senior Activities, and Birthday Parties.
Booked and Ready!
Booking the party was super easy. We went in, gave them a date that we wanted and left a deposit. We were the only party booked for that day. The employee said that if we needed a little extra time for opening gifts that it would be okay. Mimi decided how many friends she wanted to invite and we chose a price range for the pottery pieces per child. We decided to keep it open from $20 to $28 a piece so they can have lots of choices. She was so excited!
Another reason why we chose to throw her party at Crock A Doodle was for convenience. We wanted to sit back, watch the kids create, take pictures and celebrate her birthday without having to host. At the Windsor location, they do not have a birthday room but, have a large table area that is reserved for your party. You are welcome to bring decorations, your own food, beverages, and cake.
The model of a Crock A Doodle party is amazing. A place where kids can go and express their artistic side and celebrate their birthday is a pretty awesome thing. So, I am sure that our experience at the Windsor location isn’t reflective of all stores or franchises across Canada.
With that said, my daughters, Gabby and Mimi, and Mimi’s friends enjoyed painting their pieces. We had a table set aside for us and with plenty of supplies. It was our first time in so, we weren’t quite sure how things worked. I asked an employee (that I learned was a student) how it worked and she said they should choose a piece and then use the sponges.
From the get-go, we had no guidance or party host as promised.
So, we had to go around with the kids and help them pick their pieces since we had given them a choice from $20-$28. With no guidance, this took longer than expected. Regardless, with a few exchanges, the girls started painting. I asked the worker (student) if they poured their own paint and she said she wasn’t sure.
So, my husband, 14-year-old daughter, and I began to pour paint. Throughout the painting process, my husband and daughter walked around and helped the girls with paint, eyes, and fixing mistakes. The whole time our party host sat at her desk on her phone and didn’t come over once to help us out or anyone else in the studio. Her body language showed that she did not want to be there and certainly did not want to deal with kids.
We passed out the food, had cake, and opened a few gifts. I gave a piece of cake to the employees, we cleaned up and called it a day. Since we had no guidance throughout the creative process, the party ran longer than expected. The parents returning to pick up their kids had to wait approximately a half hour or so for the kids to be done. We didn’t get a chance to open all the gifts either because it was rushed.
I paid the employee and headed out.
A week and the holidays went by and we went to pick up the pieces that were ready. The pottery pieces were wrapped individually and had thank-you cards and a $5 gift card in the bags. They were placed in a reusable bag for easy handling. It’s a nice touch and makes delivery easier. We took the bag and headed out but my husband insisted we check the bag. We found that two pieces were missing, one of my daughter’s friend and my daughter (Birthday girl’s) piece.
Her birthday gift plate turned out nice, in exception of the visible mistake they had fixed on my daughter’s name. No big deal for us. The same worker told us she wasn’t sure about anything, and with no sense of urgency, made a call and said the manager would deal with it. When we got home, we checked our receipt and my deposit had not been removed from the final total.
It was disappointing.
After a few phone calls, the manager offered to return the deposit and refund us for the two pieces. No effort was made to ensure return business or to make the customer happy over a party experience which was what promised but not delivered. She was very apologetic and only did what higher management advised. I understand that her hands were tied in doing more since the district manager had no intention to do more.
All in all, the girls had fun painting but, as a parent who throws a party at an establishment, it did not work for us. We had to be very hands-on and be the hosts instead of having a host that was energetic, full of energy, and engaging with my daughter and her friends. What was missing was a host that is promised with a Birthday package.
The owner of Crock A Doodle, Annette reached out to me. We spoke via phone and had a conversation about my overall experience. She was very apologetic and offered to make good with Mimi. She invited us to go back to the studio and paint. At this moment, I respectfully declined. I appreciate her reaching out and making this offer though. As well as the promise to continue to improve at the Windsor location. For those who have asked, no refund was provided nor offered.
More Information About Parties:
- Use of Birthday area for an hour of painting fun, based on a minimum of 8 kids. Depending on location, you may have the choice of a party room.
- Choice of birthday party packages with prices to suit every budget.
- Pricing includes pottery pieces, paints, instruction, kiln-firing to a brilliant finish.
- Selection of fun and functional pieces like piggy banks, mugs, bowls and more.
- Popular themes like Shopkins, Pokemon, Emoji, Minions, Princesses and more.
- A dedicated Party host to oversee the party fun and guide the creative process.
- FREE party invitations – pick up in studio or download online.
- A FREE Celebration handprint plate for the birthday child.
- Party Thank you and $5 gift card for each guest.
- Individual packaging of kiln-fired pieces, ready for pick up within the week.
- Extra Party Room time can be added for cakes and presents…just ask!
Birthday Party at Crock A Doodle
As a parent, you hope that your child’s birthday party will go off without a hitch. After all, that is why you depend on creative places like Crock A Doodle. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out for us this time around. But, I thought it would be fair to share our experience at Crock A Doodle.
As I mentioned, the girls enjoyed painting because, well, most kids do. But, what was missing was a highly-engaged and energetic host to make their experience that much more memorable. Not to mention, two pieces were missing and have not been located. One which happened to be Mimi’s.
As aforementioned, this was our experience at Crock A Doodle in Windsor, Ontario. This doesn’t mean that it will be your experience at any of the other locations. For the price, it is excellent value and with an engaging host, I know that it could be amazing.
Do you throw parties at home or away from home?
Let me know, til then–cheers m’deres!
Nancy Polanco is a freelance journalist and editor of lifestyle blog Whispered Inspirations. A social media junkie, a travel-lover with insatiable wanderlust and an aficionado for fun gadgets, good eats, and entertainment. You can find her on Instagram and everywhere else under @WhispersInspire.