Coffee, cake and cats! Wait - what? Yup, you heard right! What a fantastic combination, just wait until you hear the whole story!
Logo by Mylène Calestagne
China, Paris, Japan and many more locations have the chance for you to indulge in a friendly morning or afternoon with your love of furry friends and a cup of coffee, relax, play and enjoy the antics of these cute purring creatures! I was thrilled when I found out that Edinburgh might be added to this list!
"When we saw an article about the Cat Cafe in Paris and how this idea, originated in the Far East, is becoming more and more popular in Europe and USA, we thought immediately that we need one in Edinburgh! " Quoted by Marta
Living in a city and renting property, a majority of places don’t allow you to have pets. I learnt that the hard way…having always been the biggest cat lover, I didn’t have the funds, space and time to take a cutie on board but when hearing this idea I was so thrilled it was just puuuuuurfect! I was delighted to get the chance to chat with owners and the brains behind the busy business - Marta and Anna.
Hoping to open up officially in Spring 2015 next year, I was so excited to hear all about the plans and thought that went into this adorable idea!
What inspired you to come up with The Cat Café?
"We are both cat lovers and enthusiastic about the idea. We grew up surrounded by cats and they were always part of our family. And so since we moved out from our family home we miss the company of cats a lot. Our lifestyle and legal issues, it's virtually impossible to find a flat for rent where the landlord would allow pets - they make it very difficult for us to have cats. So we ended up stroking cats on the street. We know all the cats in the neighborhood :)"
There are a few small coffee shops in the area. What do you feel sets you apart from the others? (Well, cats, but anything else?)
"We are aware that this is a Cat Cafe and people will come there because of the cats, however we want to emphasize that this is going to be first of all a Cafe, where some cats will live. We don't want to put the whole stress on the animals; the cafe is going to be their home, not their workplace, so they have to feel good there. We'll make sure that our customers will understand that playing or petting a cat is not guaranteed, it all depends on the 'hosts'. That is why we want to serve the best quality products and well selected drinks and snacks, so people will come for the good treats that they can have in the company of cats. This will give the place a feel of an easy Sunday morning when you are sipping your coffee, reading a newspaper or relaxing afternoon with a book and cup of tea in your living room. "
If you were a customer in your own cafe, what would you order from the menu?
"As a coffee lover I'd order a cup of black Americano with no sugar and something chocolaty, probably a brownie. "
For people who don’t know, how might it work when ordering a coffee and playing with the cats?
"You'll order your food and drinks at the counter and then you'll have a seat in the room where the cats will live. And here is the chance for you to play with them :) All food and drinks however will be prepared in a separate area, where cats will have no access at all! Then your order will be brought to you with a cake cover and from here it will be the customer’s choice whether they want to keep the cover on or off. There will be some toys available to play with cats and customers will be allowed to interact with the cats as much as they want as long as the cat is willing to as well. We expect our customers to be cat lovers who understand cat’s need and boundaries; however there will always be a trained member of staff in the room to make sure that our cats are happy. "
How did you choose the location?
"We are looking for venues in the South side of the city, with Marchmont being our preferable location. It is already a residential area (with lots of tenement flats occupied by students who cannot afford to have their own pet), but still within a walking distance from Bobby's statue for those who are visiting Edinburgh and would like to pop to our cafe as well. "
How long will it take from concept to opening? Timeframe?
"It all depends on lots of factors that sometimes might be out of our control (like for example finding the right venue and then adapting it to cats' needs). This is a very specific business and lots of requirements have to be met. We are launching our crowd-funding campaign in mid September and, if everything goes smoothly, we'll open in Spring 2015. "
Have you noticed any café trends? What is it about cafés that make them so popular?
"Yes, definitely. Trends come and go in everything. In terms of cafes, urban style seems to be popular now; quite a few new cafes with urban decor have opened in Edinburgh recently. "
How many cats do you have? What kinds?
"We don't have any cats yet. Personally we are not allowed pets in the flat that we rent. And the cats for the cafe will come later, when we have the venue ready. We'd like to have between 6-10 cats, but it all depends on the size of the venue and on how much funds we'll manage to collect :) "
What is it you are wanting to bring to customers?
"A place like no other in Edinburgh :) "
What advice would you give to someone who is dreaming of opening their own small business like what you have with your furry friends?
"Believe in it and don't give up! "
There you have it from the future owners and brains behind the business. Be sure to check out their page for further updates!
Amazing, remarkable and exciting sums up this new venture and café in 3 purrrrfect words! I know where I will be heading for my coffee once it hits the map! I cannot wait to grab a coffee, a wee brownie and relax like a queen with her furry friends!