Pokey’s Cat and Mouse Café (AKA Pokey’s)
Bruce, Terry, and Casey Jenkins, will be the Founders/Operators of Pokey’s. Pokey’s will be operating as a DBA under Cats Cradle Foundation, INC. Cats Cradle is a 501c3 non-profit Senior Cat Sanctuary, in its 5th year of operation.
Our primary focus will be to educate the public on the virtues of rescuing homeless cats. To further this objective, we will provide a relaxing setting which will encourage our customers to meet and play with our adoptable “house rescues”. Pokey’s will be the only “Cat Café” in Tampa.
To ensure the sustainability of the “cat adoption model” we are offering our “Cat Time” customers the opportunity to engage in Computer/Video Gaming, “Game Time”.
We will have three different sources of revenue: (1) “Cat Time” where our “Cat Lover” customers can enjoy coffee and snacks while relaxing with our “house rescues” (2) “Game Time” video gamers can experience the latest games and play against each other (3) as an adoption resource, we will assist individuals who want to adopt a rescued cat (for a fee).
To keep startup expenses low we are forgoing preparing food, and instead, offering only coffee, snacks and beverages. Later, we may partner with a nearby cafe or Bakery to provide prepared food.
Since we are proficient in drywall and carpentry, we will doing much of the “build-out” ourselves
The gaming stations will be built in-house by our “computer genius” Casey. He is a computer technician and a proficient “Gamer”. He also loves cats!
Requested Funds: $38,000 (Startup costs $32,000 + $6,000 to help subsidize expenses for first 3 months)
Startup Expense Items:
Leasing of 1200-1500sf in a shopping plaza
Building out the space so that it’s feline and customer friendly
Purchasing inventory of snacks and beverages (we will consider vending machines and self service coffee makers)
Purchase of cat furniture, litter boxes, water dishes, and litter
Purchase of gaming consoles and components to build 3 “gaming stations”
Buying food and treats for the cats
A typical day at a Pokey’s Cat Cafe involves:
Taking care of cats (i.e. giving them food and water, changing their litter boxes, etc.)
Processing adoption applications submitted by customers
Welcoming customers and being sure they sign a waiver (this will enable them to be with the cats).
Taking reservations for “Cat Time”
Accepting cash, credit cards, maintaining our accounting system
For “Cat Time” Customers - explaining the rules for safely interfacing with the cats
Serving customers snacks and beverages (unless self-service vending machines are utilized)
For “Game Time” Customers - log them in, supervise, and provide help, as necessary.
Overseeing the customer area to ensure all the cats and people are behaving appropriately.
Maintain cleanliness throughout
Allow “selfies” with the cats. However, photos must be taken with the flash off.
Note: We will also have a webcam camera system (similar to the one we have at our Sanctuary) allowing Individuals to see inside Pokey’s 24hours a day with their phone or PC. (we will also be able to monitor the operation remotely)
Creating a Cat/Customer friendly environment:
As designers and operators of the renowned Cats Cradle facility (see cats-cradle.org) we have a deep understanding of cat preferences and behavior. In addition, we have visited other Cat Café businesses. These visits will help us address the safety and comfort of our customers.
We anticipate space for Pokey’s to be partitioned into separate areas:
An area for customers to relax, study, play with cats, and use the Gaming Stations (this area will have WIFI and electrical outlets for customers to access the internet and charge their phones.
A separate area for cats who need a break from people
An area for serving snacks and drinks (if a separate area is required by the locality)
Who will be our Customers?
Children - There are many children and teens in Tampa and Temple Terrace whose parents don’t allow them to keep pets. They can come to Pokey’s and play with a variety of cats (different ages and activity levels). For a separate charge, they will also be able to and experience the latest computer/video games.
College Age - We plan to locate near a major University (University of South Florida). We will then have proximity to thousands of University students who would like to keep a cat in their apartment, but are unable to, due to restrictions. These students will frequent Pokey’s in their free time to play video games, relax, study, and recharge, after a busy day.
Tourists & Passers-by - Our Customers will also be comprised of tourists (visiting nearby Busch Gardens) and the passers-by who will not be able to resist coming inside upon seeing our unique and relaxing atmosphere.
Pokey’s will be open from 11:30-8:30 Tues-Sun (Closed Mondays)
We will have separate rates for gaming and for cat play, plus weekly and monthly memberships will be available.
Our initial rates - $8 per ½ hour for “Cat Time” and $10 per ½ hour for “Game Time”.
The prices for food items (snacks and drinks) will be competitive.
Note: we will also be selling cat related items (including cat treats). These will be kept in a display case (to protect from curious paws)
Promotion and Marketing:
We will have an active presence on the internet with our own website (we own pokeys-café.com). Plus we will be utilizing Facebook and Instagram.
In addition, Pokey’s will host lectures on cat-related topics, provide for cat-oriented meetups, movie nights, and “yoga with the cats”.
Hosting these events will give people a specific reason to come. Once they experience Pokey’s, they’ll likely talk to family and friends.
We are projecting 50 unique visitors/week. It is not unrealistic to place 2 cats/week, which would equate to 100 cats/year. We feel that is achievable and would lessen the burden for traditional shelters.
Our financial targets are as follows:
Achieve the net profit of $5k per month by the end of the first year
$10k per month by the end of the second year
$15k per month by the end of the third year.
A Business Model for a Cat Cafe