Kahului – Cat Cafe Maui is already meowing cats.
Even before today’s grand opening, “A space for cats and people” Since last week’s soft opening at the Queen Kaahumanu Center, it’s been a blast to mingle.
A steady stream of people arrived on a Sunday afternoon for an hour-long appointment date with a feline.
“Was busy” Sam Schneider, president of Maui Cat Rescue, said as customers waited in the cafe’s retail space. “We are definitely satisfied.”
And on Sunday, the cafe received its first adoption.Tatsu, that cat “Walked around like he owned the place” Schneider said he went home with a couple who said he resembled an old cat.
Cat Cafe Maui is the for-profit division of the non-profit Maui Cat Rescue. The organization’s mission is to facilitate homeless cat adoptions and limit excess cats on Maui. It also promotes education and awareness about the cat population and the Maui environment. Cafe cats come from the Maui Humane Society, which partners with Cafe to ensure all kittens and cats receive the latest age-appropriate care. There is no adoption fee, but donations are accepted and sent directly to the humane community.
“We love helping animals and making people smile.” Moria Diamond, founder of Cat Cafe Maui and executive director of Maui Cat Rescue, said in a news release: “We are also equally committed to using this space as a means of raising awareness about the island’s cats and educating the community about responsible pet ownership.”
Diamond on Sunday said the café had already been visited by customers three times, and that the young girl had never visited the café. “best day” What she had on her trip to Maui.
Cowwella Vizquera, the mall’s general manager, also likes the concept. “marks the first empirical notion of its kind” Queen Kaahumanu Center and “We love the idea of combining our retail and café spaces with animal therapy, education, and helping our community reduce cat overcrowding.”
In addition to the cafe, opening later this month is Mr. Cow Maui in the food court next to HiTea.
According to Bisquera, Mr. Cow was founded in 2019 by Yunho Kim. “Mr. Cow’s Corn Dog” The location is Honolulu.
Football Fanatics, a sports apparel store and fan gear shop, and Tanoa, a Polynesian apparel brand, will also open in the mall this fall. QKC is also the new home of award-winning dance troupe Halau Kekuaokala’au’ala’iliahi, said Bisquera.
That’s a positive sign for a major shopping complex that has faced foreclosure and has seen longtime tenants like Hallmark and Sears close shop in the center in recent years.
In November 2020, US Bank filed a foreclosure, saying mall owner QKC Maui Owner LLC defaulted on an $88.5 million loan, prompting court proceedings.
As part of the summary judgment in last year’s foreclosure court proceedings, Oscar Parra of California-based Pacific Retail Capital Properties will be appointed commissioner to oversee the sale of the mall’s properties.
Para has acted as a receiver to manage, supervise, manage and operate the property.
Regarding the mall foreclosure issue, Mr Bisquera said the mall will continue to be managed and operated by Pacific Retail Capital Properties.continue to evaluate “We will create a robust programming schedule, prioritizing local tenant support while maximizing the use of the center.”
The shopping mall will also celebrate its 50th anniversary this year.
Despite the mall’s financial troubles in the background, the newest tenants were thrilled to be up and running.
At the cat cafe, volunteers Nicky Ignacio, 16, and Caressa Dickenson, 18, were enjoying their Sundays.
“It’s exciting, it’s still work, but it’s fun work.” Ignacio said.
Dickenson, who was volunteering at the cafe for the first time, called the experience “fun” He said he would do volunteer work this week as well.
Schneider said that while the cafe’s retail store has employees, the cat lounge is run entirely by volunteer Maui Cat Rescue.
The $20 entry fee with 10% off Kama’aina goes toward all cafe expenses and hiring employees.
Customers receive complimentary coffee or tea.
From today, we will start selling cat-shaped cookies made by Mr. Joslyn Kanaere, a baker of Happy Happy Joajoa.Kanaere is the mall’s recent winner “Start with Cart” Earn 3 months free rent for mall carts.
Schneider said he would consider adding more food if there was customer interest.
The store also sells cat-related items such as shirts, mugs, hats, key chains, and cat ears.
In the future, I would love to host a party with my kids, even cat face pizza. “Cat Story Time” event, “Kitty Yoga” Movie nights and educational events.
But overall, animal advocates are happy with the concept, which could save Maui’s cats in need.
“We are thrilled to partner with Cat Cafe Maui to save lives on the island.” Katie Shannon, Maui Human Society Marketing Director, said: “Their unique adoption opportunities create more space in our shelters, ultimately increasing our ability to save lives.”
Last year, the Humane Society took in nearly 5,000 animals, 65% of which were cats. For more information and reservations, please visit www.catcafemaui.com.
* Melissa Tanji can be reached at [email protected].