Curious how we got here? Let me tell you a story.
Vikki (owner) and Dotty (mom) opening weekend at Purrfect Mugs Cat Cafe
On a warm and breezy summer morning at a local farmer’s market, my mom, Dotty, nuts in hand (roasted almonds and pecans guys, come on) looked over to me and spontaneously asked me, “What’s your dream?” A loaded question that I don’t think anyone is ever fully prepared to answer, but without hesitation I immediately responded, “I want to open a cat café.” A statement I’ve said out loud plenty of times over and over but always considered just a dream.
To give you a little back story, at the time, we were still in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic trying to get by. We started a business back in 2017 selling fresh roasted nuts at local craft shows, county fairs and festivals and when the pandemic forced our events to cancel, we adapted to the situation and started selling at farmer’s markets and online. We were struggling mentally and financially, and I would often think to myself, “this can’t be it.” I knew my mom saw it written all over my face that I needed a change.
My mom knows me better than I know myself, most likely because we are scary similar, and she knew from the beginning that selling nuts was never my end game. I think she knew this because I have always been an extremely passionate person. Whether it’s my job, a hobby or something so miniscule to the average person, I go all in. Selling nuts, eh, didn’t quite fall into that category but it was an amazing steppingstone to figure out the small business world. Side note: Vikki’s Nut House is still alive and well!
Fast forward back to the farmer’s market and I heard a “Let’s do it.” It was the best and scariest response to my answer of, “I want to open a cat café” that I didn’t take too seriously at the time. It’s easy to dream about the what if’s but it’s terrifying to turn those into will dos. A week later, binging some Netflix series I’m sure (Don’t judge! We were told to stay at home), I started to hear my phone pinging repeatedly. Annoyed but curious, I checked it out. My mom was bidding, actually bidding, on coffee shop equipment at a local auction and I was receiving all the emails. Panic immediately set in and I called her yelling, “What the H E double hockey sticks are you doing?!” and she responded to say, “We are making your dream happen.”
It took almost a year to bring the concept of what lived in my head to a reality. From painting hours on end, going to auctions, store closings and doing it all ourselves (loan free!), but we made it. There were tears, arguments, a lot of laughs and people asking, “Are you crazy? That will never work here” but here we are a year later still growing and improving. We have found amazing homes for over 120 cats and being able to provide a safe and comforting place for our feline friends and our community, made all the stress 100% worth it. However, scrubbing poop off walls and cleaning for two hours a day makes me sometimes reconsider that last statement. (Just kidding, I would still choose this)
Vikki with resident cat cafe cat, Sterling, AKA the boss
Just to sum it up.
I’m incredibly thankful for my mom, the amazing rescue we are partnered with, Whiskers World and our community for the support I have received. The amount of gratitude I have for all of you is unexplainable. Thank you for allowing me to bring my dream to fruition. If you would like to hear more about the process of opening, how we did it loan free or anything else, let me know in the comments. Thank you for reading.