At OutInCanberra we love new ideas from creative Canberrans. This week, we spoke with sisters Carolyn and Andrea Sewell from the (hopefully) new Capital Cat Café about their plans for a place where people can relax and enjoy the benefits of engaging with little kitties.
We are so excited for the Capital Cat Café. Can you tell us more about what we can expect on the menu?
The Capital Cat Café will be open from 7.00am in the morning until late seven days with a full coffee shop and café menu featuring easy and quick meal options for breakfast, lunch and dinner including snacks, and dessert menu in the evening. Healthy, low-fat, vegetarian and gluten-free options will be available.
We are currently exploring coffee suppliers in the Canberra region to find the perfect blend for the cat café.
Where do you hope to open the cafe?
It’s a challenge to find the right spot, as we need a coffee shop and a place for the cats to live. We’ve looked everywhere, but keep coming back to Braddon because amazing mix of new and old businesses. Also, given what we are trying to achieve with cat café, the amount of public transport is great.
Apart from giving Canberra a Cat Café just like Melbourne and Sydney, what is your main reason for wanting to open the first in Canberra?
We have both come from working in the Community Services and Social Welfare Sectors and have worked with disadvantaged people and have seen the impact having contact with an animal can have in a person’s life. We want to bring that to more people so we can make a difference in Canberra!
We’re looking at exciting new ideas! To reflect our city, Capital Cat Cafe will home to cats named in honour of Australia’s Prime Ministers, Governors-General and ground-breaking women in Australian Federal Parliament.
Visitors will also have the opportunity to learn about different breeds of cats and their needs, animal care and animal welfare. We want a therapeutic sanctuary where you can come and relax with cats and enjoy a cuppa AND it will be a wonderland and loving home for the cats that live there.
Tell us more about your cat, Zanda, and the kinds of appearances he’ll be making at the Capital Cat Café.
Zanda is amazing! He has a large following on social media – both within Australia and internationally. He has starred in a couple of short films, recently appeared on Network 10’s The Living Room with Dr Chris and he also fundraises for Alzheimer’s Australia. We often take Zanda out and about – the positive response from so many people inspired us to create a place where people could come and have that experience all the time.
18 months ago, when we created a Facebook page about a possible cat café in Canberra we were overwhelmed with the support! From that moment we’ve been taken on a journey that is completely changing the direction of our lives!
Zanda may make the occasional celebrity appearance at the Capital Cat Café, however he will not be residing there. Zanda plays an important role in building the café’s team of cats in the lead up to opening.
Is there any other information you want Canberra to know about this exciting project?
We’re here not only promote animal welfare and responsible pet ownership, but to make the Capital Cat Café an attraction Canberra is proud of! We want to support local business, promote local products and give back to the community as much as we can.
To make it all happen we’re looking for sponsors. Businesses can buy naming rights for all the main rooms in the cat area. It’s great opportunity and the exposure will help fund the fitout of the cat café. All cats are also available for lifetime corporate sponsorship.
Fitting out the both a coffee shop and cat area with an exclusion zone between the two is very costly! We’ve got a crowd funding campaign, so we’d love you to jump online and help.
Finally, there’s our ‘Walls of Honour’ where you can buy a name for $20.00 and it will remain for the life of the cafe. We have 4939 spaces left of the total 5000 to fill and it’s open to people from all over the world. We currently have names from the USA, UK as well places within Australia in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and the ACT. We are hoping the names of Canberrans will dominate!