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Alabama’s first ever cat café is in the works. Guess where it will be opening? Birmingham! Get ready for Gatos and Beans.
Behind Gatos and Beans
Meet Kelli and Stephen Steward, the entrepreneurs behind Gatos and Beans. You may remember them from REV Birmingham’s Big Pitch competition this past November. 2018 marked the competition’s fifth year and has grown to become one of the most exciting showcases of up-and-coming small business owners in Birmingham.
The Stewards were awarded second place and $10,000 in start-up money for Gatos and Beans.
“The competition was fun and scary since I am not a fan of public speaking,” Kelli said of her experience during the Big Pitch. “But we are very excited and can’t wait to open our doors as the first cat café in Alabama!”
So what exactly is a cat café? Well… combine a cat adoption center with a café and you pretty much have the concept down.
Gatos and Beans will be a two-part business. One half of the building will feature a coffee shop/wine bar, while the other half will be an animal adoption center. Sorry pups. Only felines allowed at this cat café!
A place to chill and visit with snuggly, purring cats? If you’re a cat lover like me, this sounds like heaven on Earth. Especially being able to adopt a darling cat and help an animal in need.
Gatos and Beans has partnered with local animal rescue Kitty Kat Haven, who will provide the adoption center with cats who are in need of a good home. The rescue will also be responsible for the vet care, food, litter and other essential needs of the cats in the adoption center. The Stewards and employees of Gatos and Beans will provide the day-to-day care of the animals.
“We hope to hold adoption events for other local rescues, too, such as Moma Kat, Save the Strays, etc.”Kelli Steward, owner, Gatos and Beans
The café side of Gatos and Beans will feature a coffee/bar and seating area for folks to hang out and grab a beverage or baked good. There will also be Gatos and Beans merchandise available for purchase and work from local artists on display.
The couple would also like to help promote other local businesses by selling their coffee, tea, beer and wine at Gatos and Beans.
The Adoption Center
While the café adds a fun, hip element to Gatos and Beans, Kelli said the main focus is the cats, adding, “We want to facilitate as many cat adoptions as possible.”
For $10 per hour, you’ll receive a free coffee or tea and entry into the adoption center to pet, play with and adopt a new furry friend. (You can upgrade to a latte or other drink of choice for an additional charge.) It’s not like a typical shelter with cages either. Here, all cats will roam free inside the adoption center.
All adoption fees paid for your new furry friend will go directly to Kitty Kat Haven and Rescue.
Stay tuned for the opening of Gatos and Beans this April at 4348 3rd Court S., Birmingham, AL 35222.