Get ready Charleston. A Cat Cafe is Pouncing into Downtown this Summer!
The South is finally getting its own cat cafe! Pounce Cat Cafe + Wine Bar will be a place where you come to enjoy freshly brewed coffee or tea, sip on wine or local beer, indulge in delicious pastries, and cuddle with adorable (and adoptable!) cats and kittens.
What Is A Cat Cafe?
Long story short, a cat cafe is a place where you can hang out with adoptable cats, sip on your favorite beverage, and snack on some yummy goodies. The best part? If at the end of your visit you've fallen in love with your new feline friend, you can take them home with you!
In many communities across the country, there are too many cats either in shelters or on the streets and not enough space, resources, or people to help get them into their furrever homes. This is where cat cafes come in!
Cat cafes are great not only for the humans who get to enjoy their coffee with a furry friend, but they're great for cats in need AND the community as well!
- Cat cafes act as foster homes for local shelters, which frees up space in the shelter to care for more animals in need.
- Cat cafes get cats out of cages, socialized and played with, and into their loving furrever homes.
- Cat cafes are great places for people who cannot have pets in their apartments or dorms (we see you, college kids!) but still need some fuzzy therapy now and again. (Did we also mention you don't have to scoop a litter box? Yeah.)
A Cat Cafe in Charleston
Charleston, SC is a city known for its beautiful beaches, friendly people, and amazing food. Over the past ten years, Charleston has become an internationally recognized tourist destination, and in 2012, Conde Nast Traveler Readers ranked Charleston as the #1 tourist destination in the entire world. On top of being on the global list of cities to visit, Charleston has also been ranked as the #1 city in the U.S. for four years in a row. (We get it, we're awesome.) As Charleston continues to grow and thrive, the cat cafe will add to the Charleston community by:
1. Partnering with Charleston's largest shelter, Charleston Animal Society (CAS). This shelter saves the lives of thousands of animals a year, and since Pounce will be fostering between 15 and 20 cats and kittens from CAS at any given point, CAS will be able to focus their attention towards animals who are in dire need of care (i.e. Caitlyn the Pitbull).
2. Supporting small businesses by partnering with local breweries and coffee roasters. All of the coffee, tea, pastries, and beer served at Pounce will be provided by other small and local businesses in the Charleston area.
3. Giving back to the Charleston community through various fundraisers and events. Pounce will host monthly fundraising events (think Mew-vie Nights, Puppy Takeovers, Cat People Speed Dating, Yoga with Cats, etc.) and will donate a portion of all ticket sales to benefit local charities and animal shelters.
About The Founders
Our names are Ashley Brooks and Annaliese Hughes, and we are the self-described crazy cat ladies behind Pounce Cat Cafe + Wine Bar. You might be asking yourself, "Crazy cat ladies? But...where is the grey hair? Where are the bathrobe pockets filled with kitty kibble?!"
Well my friend, a "crazy cat lady" doesn't have to be a stigma anymore. In fact, you (yes, you!) could be a crazy cat lady too! To us, a "crazy cat lady" is a person of ANY gender who loves: cat puns, cat videos, funny cat shirts, wearing cat ears for fun, cat jokes, cat cartoons, or, you know, the adorable fluffy cats themselves. So, we extend a formal invitation to join the ranks of the proud "crazy cat ladies" everywhere and to help us make Charleston even more cat lady friendly.
Like many best friends, we met our freshman year of college while living in the same dorm. Even though we lived across the hall from each other and saw each other every day, we didn't break the ice until 6 months later when we started talking about the one thing that brings us all here today: CATS. Long story short, we've been insepurrrrable ever since.
In the years that have followed, we've seen 5 major/minor study changes, 4 ex-boyfriends, 3 big moves, 2 people becoming BEST friends, and 1 cat snuck into our dorm room (spoiler alert: huge mistake). Throughout college, our running joke was that we should just drop out and start our own cat cafe, and while we never ended up dropping out (you're welcome, mom and dad), we are finally starting our own cat cafe!
With our combined passions and experiences, we make the purrrrfect team to open Charleston's first cat cafe! Ashley comes to Pounce with extensive knowledge of cat health and behavior, impressive design and marketing skills, and 8 months of experience working in a cat cafe. Annaliese brings 5+ years of customer service experience, formal training in Charleston's hospitality and tourism industry, and a background in bookkeeping and accounting. We know we are the best people to make this cafe happen, and we are willing to do whatever it takes to make Pounce a reality!
For every donation, you will literally become part of the cafe! We are offering every backer a spot on our “Thank Mew” wall to show you our undying catitude for supporting us. We really want this cafe to be just as much yours as it is ours.
Other rewards include logo stickers, VIP invites to opening weekend, pre-paid reservations to the cafe, a gift box full of cat swag, and an unlimited access membership to the cafe for a whole year! (No - we're not kitten mew!)
These rewards are unlocked after you pledge any amount (even as low as $1!). Add any of these items to your pledge to put a little extra cat swag in your life.
How We'll Use the Funds
Every dollar we raise will go towards making Pounce the absolute best cat cafe it can possibly be!
Our Progress and Timeline
So, where are we in the process? At this point, we've gotten our food and beverage model approved by the SC Department of Health, we have officially partnered with Charleston Animal Society, and we're now in the process of finding our furrrrever location! We are planning on opening in downtown Charleston in early August, and we would love all the support we can to help make this cat cafe the best it can possibly be.
Risks and challenges
Our goal is to open in August of 2016, and there is a lot to get done between now and then. Because of this, we may experience some setbacks such as:
1. Finding The Right Location
While we have a pretty good idea about where Pounce will be, we still haven't found the right space yet for our unique needs. We are searching for the purrrrfect place everyday, so keep checking for updates!
2. Licenses and Permits
While we have already had our business model for serving food and beverages approved by the SC Department of Health, we are now working towards getting all licenses and permits approved for opening. This process should not take long, but it could be a potential challenge to being able to open on time.
- (29 days)