Meet the Owner, Yuko Kuru
Originally from Japan, I immigrated to the United States after graduating from McGill University with a MA in Economics. I started working on Wall Street, first as an investment banker at Morgan Stanley and then as an equity salesperson for Credit Suisse, SMBC Nikko, and MUFG Securities, respectively.
After almost 20 years on Wall Street, I left finance to open a small business—an indoor play space for children—an idea cultivated from Japan. Indoor play spaces thrive in Japan and provide a much-needed oasis for young parents and caretakers. As a mother of a toddler, I always craved a place where my child could explore, expand his imagination and socialize. Yet as a parent, I also wanted interactions with other parents while knowing that my child was safe and not going to run into traffic. I also wanted to feel like a “human” and have a hot cup of coffee that was not left inside the microwave.
"I always craved a place where my child could explore, expand his imagination and socialize. Yet as a parent, I also wanted interactions with other parents while knowing that my child was safe." —Yuko
In the beginning, I searched for a venue. While there were so many wonderful classes, curiously, there wasn’t a place that offered a space where parents could just drop in and kids could play. That started my wheels turning.
I envisioned an indoor park where families and friends could:
• come in anytime
• purchase the amount of time they would like to spend, and
• bring children to just enjoy the play.
Three years later, Pop In! Play Space & Café was born!
In the meantime, I also keep to my financial roots. As a Financial Advisor with Northwestern Mutual, I enjoy helping clients with one of the most important aspects of life—building financial security for themselves and their families. My passion is connecting people, so we can come together to create a world for our children with excellent education, security and a better future. I firmly believe in order to do that, adults have to also feel safe and have access to resources that allow them to share experiences and grow as a community.
My hope is that I can make a small contribution to the larger village around each person’s life. I also hope that Pop In! Play Space & Café can be part of it too.