If you’re looking for more sweetness than sugar and can add half and half to your morning coffee, check out the Witty Whisker Cat Café in St. Augustine.
Opened by owner Angeli Rodriguez about a year and a half ago, the store is a full-service cafe and bakery that also caters to the cat-loving crowd by giving guests the time they want to play with cats in a cozy living room. like lounge in front of the store.
A fee is charged for the occasion – $ 10 per person per hour – but Rodriguez said it will be used for food and support for her young wards, the more than a dozen cats she keeps in the room until she is hopefully to be adopted.
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With around 60 to 80 visitors per day, the concept is clearly a win-win situation.
“We get people who are on vacation and miss their cats at home; some who want to see if they’re allergic before they have a cat; college kids who are cat lovers and want to hang out with them,” Rodriguez said in an interview with The Record Monday afternoon when the store was full even on a Labor Day holiday.
Since launching the Witty Whisker Cat Café in June 2020, the company has helped arrange the adoption of 134 cats, 92 since earlier this year.
“That’s the really great part of the job; I really feel like we’re putting cats in good homes,” said Rodriguez.
The café side of the business isn’t just a novelty either. Rodriguez said she takes pride in the quality of the coffee the store serves (hot, chilled, cappuccino, espresso, tea, etc.) as well as the baked goods, including cupcakes, muffins, brownies, cookies, and savory egg souffles.
The shop also serves beer, wine, and hard seltzer.
Funny whisker partners to have cats adopted
Witty Whisker is partnering with Feline Canopy of Care, a local, nonprofit cat rescue service, to showcase the cats available, from young kittens to older cats. Adoptions are arranged through Feline Canopy.
Chell Norton, Feline Canopy’s adoption director, said that potential adoptive cat owners have a much easier time getting to know cats in a relaxed environment like Witty Whisker.
“You just can’t have the same experience behind a closed cage,” said Norton.
Reservations for the cat lounge are not required and walk-ins are welcome, but space is limited.
Rodriguez worked in the corporate world – healthcare and other sectors – before considering opening Witty Whiskers about two years ago. She had heard of similar business models in other cities and thought it might work here in St. Augustine.
“This is my adult dream job,” said Rodriguez with a laugh. “It was a dream that I had that just never went away.”
Funny mustache cat cafe
hours: Monday to Thursday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Saturday; Sunday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Closed on tuesday
Address: 112 N. Ponce de Leon Blvd. (Suite A), St. Augustine
Ancient City Eats appears on The Record every Thursday. If you know of restaurants or chefs who should be profiled, contact Colleen Jones at 914-494-1238 or firstname.lastname@example.org.