A new cafe hoping to open in Minneapolis next year would be a first for the city and Minnesota – just make sure you order cream with your coffee.
A trio of young entrepreneurs are hoping to jump on a growing trend in the United States, taking a cue from their phenomenal popularity in Japan, by opening a "cat cafe" in Minneapolis named "The Cafe Meow," according to its website.
Providing a place for people to enjoy a coffee alongside some adorable kitties, it is the brainchild of Jessica Burge, who found willing and able founding partners in Taylor Gause and Danielle Rasmussen.
The Star Tribune reports the team is still looking for a location for their business, but are hoping to launch a Kickstarter campaign next month to raise the money they need to open ideally by the end of next year, believing there is a definite market for it particularly among the college community.
"A big target market of ours are university students because we do know how stressful university can be," Rasmussen told the newspaper. "And the fact that people live on campus and can’t have cats of their own."
Interest in the venture is growing, with the company seeing a growing number of followers on its social media accounts. One commenter on its Facebook page punned: "What a purrfect idea!"
In Minneapolis, it's hoped that The Cafe Meow will not only serve as a viable business, but also as a showcase for local adoption shelters, helping more cats find new homes.
Its website says the "cat staff" will be selected from shelters in the Twin Cities, which will be rotated every few months or so to help other shelters.
"We hope that in working with us, multiple shelters will gain more traffic, resulting in more cat adoptions all around!"
The growth of cat cafes
Eater.com reports cat cafes have been around in China and Japan since around 1998, but only caught on across the Pacific last year, when the first one in North America opened in Montreal.
Since then they have been popping up elsewhere across the continent, including in New York City, San Diego and Denver, with many more in the works.
The first one to open in the U.S. was in Oakland, with the Huffington Post reporting customers order drinks and food, before walking into an "elaborate play area" to spend time with six to 12 cats at a time.
The Jacksonville Daily News has put together a list of the "5 Cat Cafes You Have to Visit," which you can find here.
P.S. We haven't forgotten about dogs
For those of you who prefer dogs to cats (or love both equally), Minneapolis will play host to the touring "Bow Wow Film Festival" this Saturday.
Held at The Parkway Theater on Chicago Avenue South, the festival will show a series of short films designed to "celebrate, educate and inspire all things doggie."
It also serves as a fundraiser for local animal charities, with proceeds from Saturday's event going to Wags and Whiskers and Twin Cities Pet Rescue.
Tickets cost between $7-$12 and can be bought here.