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affoGATO Cat Cafe- Cleveland's 1st!

$11,170 of $20,000 goal

Raised by 156 people in 3 months
No Longer Accepting Donations
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Welcome to Cleveland’s first cat cafe! affoGATO’s mission is to improve our city by creating a safe, comfortable haven for adoptable cats, cultivating a fun and inclusive space for cat-lovers to work and play, and teaming up with other local businesses and artists for the betterment of the community as a whole.

After months of research and planning, and working with dozens of Cleveland's best, we're confident that affoGATO Cat Cafe can be opened and thrive. We have a shelter collaboration established and we’re ready to sign a lease! So now, we need to raise money for some important renovations to make the space safe for the cats, and to buy lots of toys and comfy furniture for everyone to enjoy!

OUR CAMPAIGN WILL RUN UNTIL JUNE 16TH at 11:59pm EST. You can still donate after that, but we will not be distributing rewards for donations after that date.

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SHORT PURREVIEW
• Cat Cafes are a space to relax alongside free-roaming, adoptable rescue cats. We’ll also have drinks/food from a local coffee company or bakery, art and merch by local artists and businesses, and events by local instructors and performers.
• In addition to being fun, cat cafes have tons of really important benefits for cats, people, and the community.
• Once we open, 1. make a reservation (or walk-in) and pay the cover charge (that’s how we stay open), 2. receive a short safety orientation, then 3. Enjoy the cafe! We will have tons of cool stuff to do.
• The owners are two Cleveland natives, Mandy Miller and Eduardo Crespo, who will run the cafe full-time. We will have volunteers help out as-needed.
• The cats are adoptable rescues from the Cleveland Animal Protective League. They’re seriously amazing and won’t receive any of this fundraising, so consider donating to the APL too!
• We will be located at 761 Starkweather Ave, in the heart of the Tremont neighborhood. Cincinnati, Dayton, Columbus, and almost every other major city has a cat cafe, so why not our amazing city?
• We plan to open in mid-summer if everything stays on track. We’ll keep you updated every step of the way!
• Get early access, donor-exclusive gear, and other amazing rewards by donating!

FULL DETAILS ABOUT AFFOGATO CAT CAFE:

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WHAT IS A CAT CAFE?
Cat cafes like affoGATO help improve the lives of homeless rescue cats by bringing them from shelter cages to an open, fun space, with lots of cuddles, sunlight to lounge in, and toys galore!

You can then visit to relax, work, and enjoy coffee and snacks with these friendly, adoptable felines. We will partner with several local businesses/artists to host fun events and create cat-themed food, drinks, and more. And if you fall in love with a cat, you can adopt right from affoGATO Cat Café!

But we want to be more than a cafe. We believe we can be the heart of our community by bringing together cats, people, and businesses for the benefit of all. As such, we also hope to expand to additional community services and outreach programs in the near future.

 

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WHY ARE CAT CAFES IMPORTANT?
Cat cafes like affoGATO aren’t just a fun place to visit. They actually have important benefits to rescue cats, people, and the community, too!

Benefits for Cats

• Gets cats out of cages and into a fun, open space with lots of playtime and snuggling.
• Cats that don’t photograph well can meet potential adopters face-to-face.
• Cats that are no longer in a scary cage can open up and show off their true personality.
• More cats can be rescued! When we host a cat, it frees up a space in our source shelter. And when one of our guests chooses to adopt, we get to celebrate twice! Not only does that cat have a safe, loving home, but now we can help another cat in need!


Benefits for People

• Cats are good for your health and happiness! Studies show that they can reduce stress, heart issues, loneliness, and can even help you recover from grief more quickly.
• Our space is flexible to fit your needs. Get in your workout with a yoga class, let the quiet space and caffeine get you in the zone to telework or study, or just enjoy some chill time with cat cuddles.
• Cat cafes are great for people who can’t own cats. Some common reasons are dorm or apartment rules, an allergic family member, lack of funds, or frequent travel. Here, you can just spoil them, commitment-free!
• Thinking of adopting? Cats’ personalities shine when they’re happy. At affoGATO, you can hang out and get to know all of the cats in a cozy, home-like setting before picking your new bestie.


Benefits for the Community

• It’s hard for local businesses to compete with big name brands. We work to support our community by sourcing as much as we can locally, and working with local instructors, performers, etc., for our events.
• An inclusive event space. We plan to be ADA accessible, and will be actively seeking to host programming for diverse ages, income levels, special needs, and more. If you’re kind to cats and kind to other people, then you’re welcome here.



HOW DOES IT WORK?
There are lots of different models for cat cafes, but here is how we plan for affoGATO to run:

1. Make a reservation online and pay our small cover charge. Grab an hour booking, a day pass, or a special event ticket online or by phone. You’re always free to drop by for a walk-in as well, but it’s always better to guarantee your spot and get a lower rate by letting us know you’re coming!
2. Orientation. Be sure to show up to your appointment a little early, because we’ll give you a short introduction to all of the fun stuff at the cafe and teach you the rules that keep you and the cats happy and safe.
3. Have fun and enjoy affoGATO!


Commonly Asked Question: Why do we have a cover charge?
The money from adoption fees goes to our source shelter, and we can’t produce the snacks in-house. So the cover charge is how we keep our doors open to continue helping cats! (And buy lots of toys to spoil them.)


Here are some of the amenities we plan to have:

• Free-roaming rescue cats from our source shelter! They’ll play, sleep, explore, pose for pics, and snuggle as they please.
• A behind the scenes area where cats can go to take a time out if they want.
• Coffee and snacks from a local coffee company and/or bakery.
• Cozy lounge area with couches, bookshelves, games, etc.
• Cat toys everywhere!
• Work space with tables and outlets for those who want to telecommute or study.
• Small shop with cat-themed goods by local artists, cat toys/supplies for your pet, and affoGATO merch.
• Special events such as yoga, painting, movie and game nights, classes and speakers, and more!
• On-site adoption. If you fall in love with a cat, you can apply to adopt them during your visit!


Commonly Asked Question: Ew...cats and food?!

While cat hair in your food may be the most authentic cat ownership experience, you don’t have to worry about that at affoGATO Cat Cafe. We are working with the Health Department to decide between a few different models that involve working with local cafes and bakeries, and are 100% certain that none of our food will be prepared near our cat lounge.


WHO IS THE TEAM BEHIND AFFOGATO CAT CAFE?
There are two full-time staff who own and will be running affoGATO: Mandy Miller and Eduardo Crespo!

Mandy and Eddie will work together to run day-to-day operations, marketing, events, and more. Mandy has a background in Communications, and Eddie has a background in Accounting, making them a purrfect team for affoGATO!


Together, they have professional experience in:

• High-level event planning (including large-scale crisis control)
• Small business social media marketing
• Content production and editing (including video and photography)
• Website design and maintenance
• HR, including hiring and management
• Daily bookkeeping and preparing business taxes
• Many years of customer service, from fast food, to barista, to high-end salon

We will also have a small team of volunteers to help out as-needed. We’ve gotten a lot of interest already, and volunteer applications will go up once we have a concrete opening date.


The cats will come from a local shelter, the Cleveland Animal Protective League.

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The Cleveland Animal Protective League’s mission is to foster compassion and end animal suffering. Incorporated in 1913, they are an independent, 501(c)(3), nonprofit humane society located in Cleveland’s Tremont neighborhood.

The APL provides a variety of important services, including shelter for homeless animals, adoption services, spay/neuter services to qualified individuals and organizations in need, humane investigations, and Project CARE (Community Animal Retention Effort). It plays an especially critical role for the cats in our community because the APL is the only shelter that will accept a stray or abandoned cat and they offer a robust Trap-Neuter-Return program.

The APL helps more than 13,000 animals a year through a variety of progressive programs, and we’re extremely proud to be working with them. It’s our hope that as a team, affoGATO Cat Cafe and the Cleveland Animal Protective League can help rescue even more homeless cats!


How Does This Shelter Collaboration Work?

We will host some of the Cleveland APL’s friendliest adoptable rescue cats at affoGATO Cat Cafe. They’ll be mostly free to roam the cafe as they please, and will be given tons of sunny window perches, fun toys, and more.

You can come relax and hang out with them whenever. No pressure or guilt like a pet store; we’re just happy you’re pampering the cats like the superstars they are! But if you do fall in love with a cat (or, let’s be real, a cat chooses you), then you can adopt them right at affoGATO!

This is a win for all involved. You get to hang out with the most awesome rescue cats specially-picked by the APL, and maybe find a new furever friend. And by hosting cats at affoGATO, more space will be available for cats to be rescued at the Cleveland APL!



So is affoGATO Cat Cafe part of the Cleveland APL?

No, we are two separate organizations, teaming up to help Cleveland’s homeless cats by finding them new homes!

However, we have similar missions, so if you are interested in affoGATO, we strongly encourage you to help Cleveland’s homeless cats and dogs by supporting the Cleveland Animal Protective League, too! Volunteer info can be found here . affoGATO’s fundraising is separate from the APL’s, so also consider donating  to the APL as well.


WHERE DOES AFFOGATO PLAN TO OPEN?
In Cleveland, of course! We are both Cleveland natives and can’t wait to bring affoGATO to life in our favorite city.


We will be located at 761 Starkweather Ave, Cleveland, OH 44113, at the corner of Starkweather and Professor. We’re right in the heart of Tremont, surrounded by tons of other amazing local businesses. Grab brunch, get in some shopping, and unwind with the rescue cats at affoGATO Cat Cafe! Learn more.

We will be moving in at th beginning of June, and begin renovations. The more funds we can raise, the faster and easier it will be for us to open!

Dayton, Cincinnati, and Columbus all have their own cat cafes, as well as almost every major city across the US, so why not our incredible city?


FUNDRAISING DETAILS AND TIMELINE

Overall Project Timeline





Rewards Order (June)

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Timeline Disclaimer

These are estimated timelines based on current progress. If we are slowed down by city permit requirements or renovation delays, we will keep you updated every step of the way on Go Fund Me, our website, and social media.


How Your Donations Will Be Used

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After all processing is done, income taxes are paid on the donations, and our donors receive their rewards, we estimate that we will receive a little over 50% of the donated funds to use towards renovations.

The large majority of these funds will be used towards four major projects to make the space safe and comfy for the cats:

• Security Shutters and Security Cameras- A midnight break-in at affoGATO isn’t as simple as an insurance claim; it potentially means escaped cats. Help us keep our cats as safe as possible!
• Energy Recovery Ventilation System- This ventilation system will constantly pump fresh air into the cat area
• Partition Wall- We’re splitting our space in half! This gives us a “double door” to keep cats from escaping, and creates a cat-free space for check-in, our shop, and drink/food sales.There will be windows, so you can check out the cats even if you don’t have time to lounge!
• Furniture and Cat Toys- Most of the funds will go towards furniture and cat toys. We plan to build a few large custom cat trees and some other built-in climbing features and nooks. We also need furniture for the people to lounge in, and currently plan to have a study/telecommute space and a more casual lounge space.


We’re currently working with contractors to figure out the exact cost of these renovations, but we estimate that each will be at least a couple thousand dollars. Some money may also be used towards necessary permits for opening, as well as property rent and other monthly expenses until affoGATO is open and operating.

Every dollar counts towards making the cafe cozy and safe, and helping us open as soon as possible!

If you don’t feel comfortable making a monetary donation, we will also have an Amazon wishlist coming soon, and volunteer applications will go up once we have a firm opening date.


THE REWARDS (FULL DESCRIPTIONS)


$10- ariGATO! (Thanks!) (unlimited)- You’ll be immortalized on the banner in our cafe, and will be able to make reservations before the general public. Includes:
•Name on our Banner
•Digital Thank You Card
•Phase 4 Early Registration

$15- Vinyl Sticker (unlimited)- Show off your support for animal rescue with a locally printed vinyl sticker of our logo! Includes:
•affoGATO Vinyl Sticker
•Name on Our Banner
•Digital Thank You Card
•Phase 4 Early Registration

$30- Open House Early Access Tour (unlimited)- See the cafe before we open up reservations! You will receive a ticket to come to a pre-opening tour and get a free drink. Includes:
•Open House Early Access Tour
•Free Drink
•affoGATO Vinyl Sticker
•Name on our Banner
•Digital Thank You
•Phase 4 Early Registration

$50- Exclawsive, Donor-Only T-Shirt (unlimited)- Receive a T-Shirt exclusive to our GoFund Me campaign, which features our logo and cat text art containing all of our donors’ names (including yours!). Includes:
•Exclusive, Donor-Only T-Shirt
•Open House Early Access Tour
•Free Drink
•affoGATO Vinyl Sticker
•Name on our Banner
•Digital Thank You Card
•Phase 3 Early Registration


$75- 2 Free Reservations (unlimited)- You will receive two free regular reservations. Share one with a friend, or keep both for yourself! Includes:
•2 Free Reservations
•Exclusive, Donor-Only T-Shirt
•Open House Early Access Tour
•affoGATO Vinyl Sticker
•Name on our Banner
•Digital Thank You Card
•Phase 3 Early Registration

$100- Early Bird Pair of Launch Pawty Tickets (LIMIT: 3) - A discounted, early bird ticket for you and a guest to attend our launch party!
•2 Launch Party Tickets
•Private Early Access Tour for You and a Friend
•2 Exclusive, Donor-Only T-Shirts
•Name on Our Banner
•Digital Thank You Card
•Phase 2 Early Registration

$100- Purrivate Early Access Tour (Unlimited)- Be among the first to see the cafe! You will receive tickets for you and a friend to attend a private pre-opening tour, meet the cats, and get free drinks. Includes:
•Private Early Access Tour for You and a Friend
•2 Donor-Exclusive T-Shirts
•2 Free Drinks
•Name on our Banner
•Digital Thank Your Card
•Phase 2 Early Registration

$150 Exclawsive Donor-Only Sweatshirt (Unlimited)
•Exclusive, Donor-Only Sweatshirt
•Private Early Access Tour for You and a Friend
•2 Free Regular Reservations
•affoGATO Vinyl Sticker
•Name on our Banner
•Digital Thank You Card
•Phase 2 Early Registration

$300 Pair of Launch Pawty Tickets (LIMIT: 5)
•2 Launch Party Tickets
•2 Exclusive, Kickstarter-Only T-Shirts
•Private Early Access Tour for 2
•Name on our Banner
•Handwritten Thank You Card
•affoGATO Vinyl Sticker
•Phase 2 Early Registration

$500 Purrivate Pawty (Limit:10)- Host a party at the cafe before we open! Reserve the entire cafe for you and up to 14 friends!.
•Private Pre-Opening Party (2 hr, up to 15 people)
•Name on our Banner (you or your group name)
•Handwritten Thank You Card
•10 affoGATO Vinyl Stickers
•Phase 1 Early Registration

$750 Purrivate Special Event (Limit: 10)- Have you dreamed of yoga surrounded by cats? Or maybe a game night, or arts and crafts? Impress your friends by hosting an amazing special event before we officially open! (We’ll work with you and book instructor)
•Private Pre-Opening Special Event (2 hr, up to 15 people)
•Name on our Banner (yours or group)
•Handwritten Thank You Card
•affoGATO Vinyl Sticker
•Phase 1 Early Registration

$1,000 Meowvalous Membership (LIMIT: 7)- Exclusive affoGATO membership! For one year, you will get 25% off ALL reservations, passes, and event tickets. You will be given early access to reserve up to two tickets for ALL special events, so you never miss out on the fun!
•Exclusive Membership for 1 Year
•2 Tickets to Launch Party
•2 Exclusive, Donor-Only Sweatshirts or T-Shirts
•Free drink with every reservation for 1 year
•Private Pre-Opening Tour
•Name on our Banner
•Handwritten Thank You Card
•affoGATO Vinyl Sticker
•Phase 1 Early Registration

$1,500 Purr-emium Sponsorship (LIMIT: 5)- Be an affoGATO sponsor! Show off your dedication to rescue cats with a sign next to one of the major fixtures in our cafe (main cat tree, our security system, etc), your logo on our site, and social shoutouts. For example, sponsor a cat tree and whenever we post a pic of a cat enjoying it, we’ll tag you!
•Exclusive Sponsorship for one year
•3 Exclusive, Donor-Only Sweatshirts or T-Shirts
•Free Party Reservation for Up to 15 Guests
•Private Pre-Opening Tour
•Name on Our Banner (Individual or Group)
•Handwritten Thank You Card
•affoGATO Vinyl Sticker
•Phase 1 Early Registration

Disclaimer

We don’t foresee any major issues that should prevent us from opening at this point. However, if we are unable to deliver the rewards pertaining to tours, parties, events, etc. due to the inability to open, we will contact you to try and arrange refunds when possible, arrange a comparable event, or donate remaining funds to a cat-related charity.

THANK YOU!
Thank you all for your help in bringing affoGATO Cat Cafe to life! Whether you donate or even just share this page, your generosity and support can make a difference in the lives of homeless cats in Cleveland!

 

https://www.affoGATOcatcafe.com 

+ Read More
There are some great progress pics in the renovation update we just posted on our blog. Check it out!

The whole team has been hard at work painting nearly every day for the last two weeks! We also have updates about our City approval, other renovation projects, donor shirts, and the Taste of Tremont.

https://www.affogatocatcafe.com/news/renovation-update-august/
+ Read More
Donors,

We hope you had a great weekend!

This is a final reminder to please check your inboxes for an email sent last week confirming your names for the banner and T-Shirt/Sweatshirt sizes if applicable.

For those under $50, you don’t need to reply unless your GoFundMe name is different than what you want on the banner.

But if the name is different or you earned a shirt, please message us back ASAP with the name and/or size. We’re placing our order with the printer TOMORROW(7/10)!

Thank you again for your support!
+ Read More
‪New weekly update on our blog!‬
‪We shared great news about:‬
‪•GoFundMe total‬
‪•Cool fundraising event coming up‬
‪•Our city app being submitted‬
‪•Renovation progress‬
‪•Press coverage in the Tremonster and Cleveland.com
‪•Artist/Creator application‬

www.affogatocatcafe.com/news/weekly-update-city-app/
+ Read More
THANK YOU!! Our GoFundMe ended last night, and including private donations we raised $13,920 from 159 donors!

We can still accept private donations by mail or drop-off, and we will be having a few cool fundraising events that will be announced soon. So don’t worry if you missed out!

To everyone who supported our GoFundMe, we seriously cannot thank you all enough!! We raised enough to make a serious dent in the cost of our vital safety renovations, which is a huge step in us opening as soon as possible!

We will be putting together the digital and physical purrks as soon as we can. And we’ll keep you all updated about our opening progress for your early registration, tours, and events-based purrks!

THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!
+ Read More
Read a Previous Update

$11,170 of $20,000 goal

Raised by 156 people in 3 months
No Longer Accepting Donations
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$10
ariGATO/Thanks!
You’ll be immortalized on the banner in our cafe, and will be able to make reservations before the general public. See details in description!
$15
Vinyl Sticker
Show your support for animal rescue with a locally printed vinyl sticker of our logo, and get tickets before the public. See details in description.
$30
Open House Tour
See the cafe before we open up reservations! You will receive a ticket to come to a pre-opening tour and get a free drink. See details in description!
$50
Donor T-Shirt
Receive an exclawsive T-shirt for this campaign, which features our logo/text art containing all of our donors’ names (including yours!) Details in description!
$75
2 Free Passes
You will receive two free regular reservations, t-shirt, open tour, and more. Share one with a friend, or keep both for yourself! See details in description.
$99
Launch Pawty
0 of 3 left
A discounted, early bird ticket for you and a guest to attend our launch party, private early tour, and more. See description for details.
$100
Purrivate Tour
Be among the first to see the cafe! Tickets for you & friend for a private pre-opening tour, meet the cats, t-shirts, and more. See details in description!
$150
Sweatshirt
Donor-only sweatshirt, which features our logo/text art with all of our donors’ names (including yours!), private tour, reservations. See details in description
$300
Launch Pawty
2 of 5 left
2 Launch Party Tickets, T-shirts, private tour, early reg, and more! Details in the description.
$500
Purrivate Pawty
9 of 10 left
Host a party at the cafe before we open to the public! Reserve the entire cafe for you and up to 14 friends! (+ more purrks). See details in description.
$750
Special Event
10 of 10 left
Dreamed of yoga, a game night, etc w/ cats? Impress your friends by hosting an amazing special event before we open! Up to 15 people. Details in description.
$1,000
Membership
6 of 7 left
Exclusive 1 year affoGATO membership(savings, early events access, and more), and other purrks! See details in description.
$1,500
Premium Sponsor
4 of 5 left
Sponsor a cat tree, security system, etc. A sign in the cafe, logo on site, and social shoutouts! (& more purrks) Details in description!
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