Pittsburgh, get ready for your very own cat café.
The Black Cat Market has officially surpassed its Kickstarter fundraising goals, and secured the funding it needs to become a reality.
Based on the wildly-popular Japanese concept, friends Olivia Ciotoli and Indigo Baloch decided to join forces to bring the first cat café to Pittsburgh. With an initial fundraising goal of $20,000 met (and still a few more days left to go in their campaign), the two are now working on the logistics of opening the café.
“We were both obsessed with cats,” Ciotoli says, “And we had been talking for awhile about doing something like this, and really thought that we could make it work.”
Cat cafés pair a traditional café experience with adoptable cats and kittens. Each cat café has a designated ‘cat’ room, where guests can interact and play with cats, separate from the food and beverage serving area.
“Each room will have four or five cats,” Ciotoli says. “And right now, we’re really looking for a space that can accommodate at least two rooms, so we can double the amount of cats we have.” The two are working with the Animal Rescue League of Pittsburgh, who will be providing the adoptable cats and kittens, and hand-selecting animals that can live and play peacefully together.
The café will serve as a foster home to the cats, and each cat will be available for adoption.
“We’re getting trained on the adoption process,” says Ciotoli. “Theoretically, people will be able to adopt a cat they like the same day.”
The café will feature coffee and tea drinks – think ‘cat-ppuccinos,’ lattes and mochas. The food menu will include baked goods, like scones, tea cakes, and cookies, prepared daily by Baloch. Eventually, they hope to ramp up to offering a full menu, with Japanese influences.
Baloch, who’s currently in Japan, researching the concept, wants the café to reflect its Japanese origins. “I’d like our café to really transport our customers there, and give them an educational, cultural experience,” Baloch says.
The two are searching for a location, and plan to open the café in Fall 2016.