Jack in the Box: Yorkshire Role Play Centre Thrives Despite Near-Disaster

by Nick
Buffalo Wild Wings Franchise

Jack in the Box, a Yorkshire-based role play center, has been recognized nationally and sees a remarkable footfall of over 1,000 visitors each week. Despite facing significant challenges during the Covid pandemic, including nearly losing everything, the business has managed to thrive.

Ken Lunn, 65, from Hull, along with his wife Gail, established Jack in the Box as a gymnasium initially, catering to aspiring gymnasts. However, they expanded their offerings to include a soft play center, gymnastics classes, and Jack’s Mini Village, a popular role play center.


The role play center, launched in 2023, has not only captivated children but also adults, with parents and grandparents actively participating in the activities. Mr. Lunn remarked on the engagement of dads in activities like ‘building the wall’ or ‘doing the plumbing’ in the center’s construction-themed zone, known as Jack’s DIY.


The business faced significant financial strain during the pandemic, enduring 14 months of closure due to government lockdowns. However, their fortunes changed when they reached out to their local MP, Graham Stewart, who facilitated grants that enabled them to recover.


Reflecting on this challenging period, Mr. Lunn emphasized the crucial role played by their local MP, without whom they might have lost everything, including their business and home.


Inspiration for Jack in the Box’s role play center came from a visit to a similar establishment in Leeds with Mr. Lunn’s grandchild. After nine months of dedicated effort from Mr. Lunn and his team, the center opened its doors and quickly became a hit, attracting up to 1,200 visitors weekly across a diverse age range.

The center’s unique offerings, such as providing every child with a Jack in the Box credit card upon entry, set it apart from competitors. Despite inquiries about expanding to other locations, Mr. Lunn remains focused on enhancing their current center’s offerings and experiences.

Recent additions like Jack’s Toy Box, featuring giant Lego bricks and a play area with various vehicles, have been well-received, showcasing the center’s commitment to continuous improvement and innovation.


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