Eric and Laurel Hess both worked in TV journalism (Eric in sports, Laurel in news). Starting a family gave them a new perspective and vision for their lives, and 20 years ago, they opened Jungle Java. “Having kids led us to a business that brings families together and gets kids up and active,” says Laurel. “This is where we live and where our kids were born. Both of our boys came through the Plymouth/Canton public schools and graduated from the Park. This is our home, and there’s no better spot in Michigan to raise a family.”
Over the past two decades, Jungle Java has been recognized numerous times in various “Best of” categories, with the number-one accolade being the best place for Family Fun. “Fun is the number-one reason people come to us,” says Laurel. “Our community counts on us to provide space for active physical play with friends and family and great birthday parties. And then there’s the food. If I had to pick a customer favorite, I’d say it’s a tie between a great soft pretzel with cheese and a delicious Strawberry Banana smoothie.”
Even after nearly two decades, you’ll find Eric and Laurel at Jungle Java every day, working with their friendly staff to attend to the details for customers and live up to their mission statement: “Clean, Safe, and Fun!”
Like most businesses, Jungle Java faced challenges during the past year, but thanks to support from the Canton community, they’ve reopened, and Eric and Laurel’s outlook is positive. “We have been humbled by the outpouring of support since the COVID-19 pandemic began last March,” Laurel reflects. “We are so happy to be slowly creeping back to our normal level of business, and we’ll always be indebted to this community for embracing us in our most difficult time. We are proud to call Canton our home.”
Jungle Java has added a new offering since reopening: private birthday parties. It’s an ideal choice for people who want Jungle Java fun in a controlled, private setting. Customers can rent the entire Jungle Java facility and have it entirely to themselves for a small private/premium fee.
Jungle Java is located halfway between Ford and Warren Roads at the corner of Canton Center and Hanford, next to Planet Fitness.