Today is a very special day for Feline Good.
It is the day that, after successfully applying for the change of use on our dream location, we have signed a lease on a commercial property and we begin the transformation to go from an unused office building to a cosy, welcoming tea room filled with cats.
I am ecstatic to announce that this week we are starting work on the shop fit of the cafe after Cardiff Council approved our application for change of use on our dream home – a section of an office building owned by wellbeing charity NewLink Wales in Gabalfa, Cardiff. We are very excited to be working with a charity that does such positive work for people in Wales.
NewLink Wales’ vision for a happier and healthier Cardiff aligns with ours. From the outset our goal has been to create somewhere that is a place of healing and wellbeing. The Feline Good project first rose from the ashes of my breakdown in 2014 – and specifically was inspired by the way that my cats helped me through that time.I want the cats of Feline Good to help other people to escape into a kitty paradise away from the trials of everyday life. NewLink Wales, in their own words, “want people to stop hurting, fall in love with their lives and achieve wellbeing”. When I met the lovely friendly people at NewLink Wales for the first time and found out about the work they do to create a happy and healthy local community, I knew I was among future friends.
We certainly didn’t take the easy route with our choice of premises – from very early on it became apparent that the easiest option would be to simply lease a shop on a high street – however when I walked into the vacant office premises for the first time and learned about the amazing work NewLink Wales does, I felt like I had come home after a long day. It just felt “right” to be standing there, in a cosy but bright space away from the high-traffic shopping areas we had originally focused on. From there, we worked hard applying for planning permission to confirm the council were happy for us to change a ground floor office to a café and spending several months slowly reducing a pages-on-end to-do list.
The hardest part is done – all of the paperwork, processes and technicalities are sorted. We are aware of the complexities of opening a cat cafe, and hopefully how to keep one running successfully. This has been years of work, and it’s been worth taking the time to ensure that we do things right the first time. Most importantly, I have 7 beautiful, happy and friendly cats – who are used to and completely unphased by the comings and goings of a busy household – waiting to go into their new home. Everyone who meets them falls in love with them – which is exactly what I want from our Feline Good cats!
What happens next
Over the next few weeks, it’s all physical work on the premises. Today our friendly team of labourers have moved into the premises to knock out the sectional temporary walls that currently divide the room and create a bright, open space. They will also install a kitchen – including a perspex serving hatch, so our customers are able to see into the kitchen and prevent any wandering kitties from getting anywhere they shouldn’t be! We have just finished interviewing for the Kitty Buddy positions, and our prospective Kitty Buddies will be finding out whether they have been successful over the coming days. Once the walls have been knocked down and the kitchen has been fitted, things like our CCTV system, new flooring and ceiling tiles, our furniture and finally our cats can enter the premises. They will have a brief settling in period, where they can get used to their new home before we start training our staff and preparing to open.
It’s very difficult for me to be able to give a definite time frame just yet, but I can assure you we will be open within weeks and we will still be the first cat cafe in Wales. All eyes are on us, and we remain committed to doing things right, as opposed to rushing to beat the other cat cafes cropping up across the UK. I am very aware everyone is very excited to book in to meet our cats and our booking system is in the process of being set up by our table management company – we will notify everyone via our blog, our newsletter and on social media when booking becomes available.
I cannot put into words how excited I am to show you all what happens next. What will follow will be the story of how we converted a section of a wellness charity’s building into a complementary kitty utopia where cat lovers can meet, relax and enjoy tea and cake around some of the most loving, content and friendly cats I’ve had the pleasure of meeting.
Purrs and Slow Blinks,
SPECIAL OFFER: REDUCED AFTERNOON TEA AND EARLY ENTRY!
To celebrate signing the lease for our premises and the beginning of the final push to open Feline Good, I have made another 100 discounted vouchers for entry to the cafe and afternoon tea for two people. For just £30 you get your voucher and priority access to our booking system, so you can book in before our booking slots go on general release to the public. You can find out more here. Offer ends 26th May 2017.