KitTea: San Francisco’s First Cat Cafe Is Opening | The Snitch | San Francisco | San Francisco News and Events | SF Weekly.
Is all this feel-good PR a joke?
I love cats. We have cats, we have always had cats. We donate to the SPCA when we can.
This company, KitTea, is located (soon) on the ground floor of 96 Gough Street, aka 55 Page St, aka The Hayes Condominiums. These condos sell for over one million dollars, in a neighborhood deluged with one million dollar condos and the oftentimes brain-dead and tone-deaf inhabitants that can afford them. The founders, Courtney Hatt, David Braginksy, and Benjamin Stingle, all have backgrounds in tech of the type that is ravaging this city (from their ‘angel list’ pages: Courtney Hatt : Founder KitTea, Material.ly, Employee Speechpad, PiMobility, Material.ly, Grokker Inc; David Braginksy: Founder KitTea, Grip Inc, Investor KitTea, Advisor PeopleSign; Benjamin Stingle: Founder Material.ly).
This is one of those new ‘startups’ that purports to be a quasi social service, but is never incorporated as a non-profit, because the end game is always to make a profit, often off the hard work (years of it) done by existing, true, non-profit organizations who they ‘partner with’ and who are actually accomplishing some good in the community. KitTea is registered as an LLC (Limited Liability Corporation), the favorite business structure choice of Ellis Act evictors, among others. From their funding site (imagine that–a crowd funding site for an LLC–these people have balls of steel): “Our Mission : Create a zen retreat where humans and cats can hang out to the benefit of both species. Facilitate more adoptions by partnering with local cat rescues. So if you fall in love, you can take ‘em home!”
Let me suggest this: Spend less money on your rent, more money on the cats.
So please, stop lauding this company and its founders. They are just the by-product of the predatory forces that are driving us out of San Francisco. They are part of the problem, not part of the solution.
Instead of funding KITTEA LLC, please give your money to the SPCA.
from CA Secretary of State:
Entity Name: KITTEA LLC
Entity Number: 201405610175
Date Filed: 02/20/2014
Entity Address: 1673 GOLDEN GATE AVE UNIT 3
Entity City, State, Zip: SAN FRANCISCO CA 94115
Agent for Service of Process: BENJAMIN A STINGLE
Agent Address: 1673 GOLDEN GATE AVE UNIT #3
Agent City, State, Zip: SAN FRANCISCO CA 94115
Excerpt from ‘San Francisco Eater’, Aug 8, 2014, SF Cat Cafe KitTea Still Struggling with Space and Funding:
But as with so many in the SF real estate market these days, KitTea is finding prices to be a lot higher than they anticipated. Hatt told the SF Business Times that while the duo have locked in on a space in Hayes Valley, the landlord needs a big-ticket guarantee, and a build-out that will allow the cafe to divide in two, so the cats and the tea will be in separate quarters that are up to Health Department standards, will raise the bill to $100K more than they currently possess. Hatt’s been negotiating the lease on and off for five months. “We felt the lease was a little too expensive in the beginning, but then it turned out to be the best one we found,” she told the SFBT. “Unfortunately, the lease went up (while we were looking at other locations) because the market changed.”
To make KitTea a reality, Hatt and Braginsky are now seeking to raise that additional $100K from crowdfunding supporters willing to chip in a little extra, as well as angel investors who would receive a percentage ownership in KitTea. Still, it’s unlikely they’ll open in 2014, much less before the Oakland project, Cat Town Cafe, which will likely be the U.S.’ first permanent cat cafe if it sticks its projected September opening date.
I repeat: Instead of funding KITTEA LLC, please give your money to the SPCA.
I don’t know much about Cat Town Cafe, but this information was easy to find on their website (whereas finding the phrase “KITTEA LLC” on KitTea’s website is like trying to find a $1200 studio apartment in Hayes Valley):
Cat Town is an independent, non-profit organization that operates through a partnership with Oakland Animal Services, and was founded by a core group of shelter volunteers to help at-risk cats. Since our founding in 2011, we’ve helped over 600 cats and kittens and look forward to helping many more!
In addition to years of adoption counseling and shelter volunteering, we have experience fostering fearful cats and kittens, running mobile adoptions, and organizing successful outreach campaigns.
The Cat Town Cafe is a collaboration between Ann Dunn, the Founder and President of Cat Town, and Adam Myatt (a.k.a. The Cat Man of West Oakland or Mr. Hoodcats) and significantly expands our capacity to get cats out of shelter cages, and into great homes!
If you’re interested in adoption, visit cattownoakland.org/cats and email us at email@example.com so we can help with match making and answer any questions you might have.
And if you follow the link to Cat Town you find this:
Many cats struggle in an animal shelter setting, sensitive to new sounds, smells, and the trauma of losing a home that was familiar. Even the most affectionate, devoted pet may hide or be fearful in a shelter cage.
With partner organizations more likely to accept young, outgoing cats into their programs, municipal shelters often have nowhere to turn for help with undersocialized kittens, shy, stressed, or older cats.
Cat Town answers this need by targeting the cats least likely to be adopted from Oakland’s municipal shelter. Through our foster-based program, Cat Town allows sensitive cats to blossom and find great permanent homes.
Cat Town is also devoted to helping feral cats leave the shelter and find safe outdoor homes.
Cat Town is an independent, non-profit organization that operates through a partnership with Oakland Animal Services, resulting in increased adoption and reduced euthanasia of at-risk cats and greater awareness about the needs of these vulnerable animals. Read more…
Cat Town was founded by a core group of volunteers from Oakland Animal Services, with a former board member and volunteer of the Berkeley East Bay Humane Society. In addition to years of adoption counseling and shelter volunteering, we have experience fostering fearful cats and kittens, running mobile adoptions, and organizing successful outreach campaigns. Our professional skills include human resources, marketing and fundraising, grant writing and management, volunteer coordination, and nonprofit management.
Cat Town’s design is based on visits to shelters, rescue organizations, and sanctuaries, where we have seen the importance of starting small and building a strong foundation of best practices. Our group has help and guidance from local veterinarians, cat behaviorists, an attorney, accountant, nonprofit specialist, realtor, and contractor. We plan to expand this advisory committee as we move forward.
Cat Town is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation and is run entirely by volunteers.
From what I can see, comparing KitTea to Cat Town is like comparing Ron Conway to…
Forget it. There is no comparison.