About this project
Cat Café Mad is a cat café located on Monroe Street, near downtown Madison, Wisconsin. We have been open for a year and want to open a non-profit cattery and a cafe to support our cats.
There are usually about 20 cats at all times, with six of them being permanent resident cats and the others are fosters who are adoptable. It is a unique place to go for a cup of coffee, and to hang out with cats as well as cat lovers. People come to play games, do homework, meet new people, come to fun events and, of course, to cuddle with cats. With our expansion, we will be building a wall to completely separate the new café and the cat area. This wall will have a full set of windows to see through to either side. City health codes require full separation between animals and food preparation, which is the reason we currently have self-serve drinks and no food. For the sake of simplicity we will call the side with the cats the cattery. The goal is for the new cafe to support the cattery. This supports both the fosters and our permanent resident cats.
All of our cats come from local shelters, and most of them are at the café temporarily, as a foster home. We work with Community Cat of Whitewater, WI, to bring in cats that will be comfortable in the café. These cats of all ages and personalities thrive in our community. They are all looking for permanent homes! With the expansion, we will have slight changes in the cattery. We are going to separate the café and cat area with a wall, but also separate them by turning the cattery into a nonprofit. This will mean that we can allow people to come in to volunteer, and spend more time with our cats. Once the cattery turns nonprofit we will also be able to accept donations from the community to help with the fosters care.
As great as the café is, it's still a foreign concept to many. Most who visit are walking by and looking for a good cup of coffee and a place to hang out. However, many are disappointed when they find out that we have self-serve coffee and no food. We are looking to enhance the customer experience by providing quality drinks and freshly baked goods. In doing so, we can serve people who are not looking to go into the cattery, but are fine with grabbing a drink for the road, or just looking at the cats through our window wall. Making a purchase from the café area will also reduce admission to the cattery. This also helps our cats have an additional layer of protection since some of them are quite the escape artists!
We will build the wall with windows. We'll need to set up the cafe with a coffee grinder, espresso machines, commercial mixers, refrigerated bakery shelves, tables, chairs, etc. We will need to install working water as well to meet city health standards.
So we've set target and stretch goals:
- $9,890 Bring water in the cafe (hot and cold). Build a wall with small windows. Serve baked goods & great, real coffee drinks
- $24,000 Larger windows & crepes. Serve crepes for breakfast, lunch and dessert. Vegan & build your own. Buy new furniture (instead of reusing the cattery's scratched up tables), full kitchen appliances.
- $30,000 , TV set for viewing the cattery in the cafe, an ice machine and a large bay window in the wall. Sealed tunnel for the cats to visit the front window.
- $50,000 Move closer to campus downtown
- $100,000 We'd love 2 more: New Jersey & Florida
Goal 1: $9,890 Wouldn't you like to sit by the window and watch the kitties as you enjoy your drink? To do this, we'll build a wall with one window (to see the cattery while you eat). We'll be able to serve hot freshly ground coffee, and cappuccino. We'll be able to put a refrigerator and the sinks to go with our new water source. We will get supplied fresh baked goods from a local bakery in Madison.We know our customers and our cats deserve a cleaner space and hot water to wash their hands. We have to use bottled water as our store doesn't have water. The money will be used to install piping and running water. The water set up is mandatory by the health department to open a cafe.
Stretch Goal 2: $24,000 Come in and smell the crepes as they grill. Sit and have your uniquely blended cafe drink or one of our fresh fruit smoothies with a great dessert crepe. Have a breakfast crepe on a Sunday morning and a dessert crepe to share. We will build out the kitchen with a full sized refrigerator & crepe grills. Watch the kitties as you eat from the large glass window. Take your drink and go play in the cattery. We will also build the wall with a large bay window with ledges so the cats can come say hello
At this point we will open the coffee shop: espresso, cappuccino, frappes, kitty named drinks, pastries, crepes for breakfast, lunch and dessert. Our customers will enjoy hot/cold whipped drinks and genuine French crepes, vegan gluten free savory crepes and even a "choose your own crepe" menu item.
Stretch Goal 3: $30,000 Enjoy crepes, a pastry from our display case, and a frozen drink while you watch cats from our large bay window and the cat tunnel. We will open our non-profit, and install a TV monitor in the cafe side. We want people to be able to watch the kitties through the TV. We already have webcams set up! We'll have a great pastry display case of your new favorite goodies. We'll be able to improve the menu with our new ice machine. Don't forget our crepes but also enjoy them with a wide variety of fresh fruit and vegetable smoothies. Also, you'll be able to enjoy watching the kitties inside the sealed plexiglass tunnel when they visit the front window.
Stretch Goal 4: $50,000 Move to State Street or closer to campus: Right in the center of town, we'll be walking distance from the University of Wisconsin and directly in the heart of the city. It will have all the previous goals incorporated. It will be a full service crêperie and coffee shop with a huge area for the cats to play and hang out with humans. We'll have parties, relaxation, and cuddling with your favorite cats! We've found a place, please don't let it get away!!!
Stretch Goal 5: $100,000 We will open our next Cat Cafe in New Jersey or Florida. The new location will be a sister clone of Cat Cafe Mad. Let's expand the help we provide to the cats and local communities! Membership in one cafe will count in the others also.
Goal One: Bring water into the store from floor below. Completely build the wall to the Health Department specifications; build the kitchen: fixtures for barista coffee, frappes, pastries, etc.
All Backers over $20 will be invited to a free Backers Night before we break ground for the wall. Backers over $75 will be invited to a pre-open special in the cafe. Free coffee drinks and crepe samples will be served. All Backers will receive opening day discounts.
1) Press the "Manage Your Pledge" button
2) Increase your pledge in the "Pledge Amount" by the dollar total of add-ons you want.
3) After the campaign is over, you will receive a survey where you will be able to tell us which add-ons you want to receive.
Risks and challenges
We want to make sure everyone gets the full service experience at Cat Cafe Mad. When we started, we could only afford to do self-service coffee and drink service because health restrictions do not allow for cats to be in an area where drinks are made. Now that we have become established, we are taking 1/3 of our space and converting it into a separate coffee shop - there will be a wall with windows dividing the space from the larger cat area. This allows us to provide everyone with full service drinks and small baked goods or crepes. The food would have to stay in the shop area, but the drinks could be taken back into the cat room and enjoyed in the company of our friendly kitties. We will require lids on all drinks taken into the cattery.
We are taking a risk investing in this change to our layout, but this is how other successful cat cafes around the US are operating. We want you, the customers, to get the full cat cafe experience. We also think separating the cat area will make the cats feel safer and prevent escapes out the front door. We don't want to lose a cat like when we lost one of our cats for awhile! One downside is there will no longer be cats in our front windows. Our solution to that will be to put a TV screen showing video of the back room in the front window.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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