KitTea was founded by cat enthusiasts Courtney Hatt, David Braginksy, and Benjamin Stingle, with the mission to build a space that is part gourmet tea house, part cat and human oasis.
Our patrons will enjoy all the benefits that playing with cats provides: from the pure joy and fun of the furballs to their tested ability to improve our health and reduce stress. At the same time, patrons can enjoy an exotic collection of teas, sustainably sourced from around the world, in an elegant setting.
Moreover, we’re constructing a high-quality, elegant home that expressly caters to cats. All of the kitties at KitTea will be adoptable, and rescuing more cats is central to our mission. Huge numbers of cats in California never leave shelters. We hope the tea house will prove to be a great model for finding cats a forever home.
How did it start? Courtney, immersed in the stressful world of tech and startups, was working in a bustling cafe one day. She stumbled upon an article about a cafe for cats in Japan. City dwellers in Japan retire to the cafe after their demanding jobs and take refuge in the cafe, which looks and feels like a welcoming living room, but hosts several resident free-roaming cats.
Cat cafes are a hit in Japan and parts of Europe, in part because the majority of apartments do not allow furry companions. Of course, the inherent awesomeness of cats probably also plays a role: they’re elegant, cute, therapeutic, and goofy all at the same time.
As Courtney looked around the cafe, she became overwhelmed with its buzzing and frenetic energy. Though everyone was sitting in close quarters, there were no spontaneous interactions with others and it lacked comfort, relaxation, and socialization.
That's when it hit her: a cat cafe would be a natural addition to the eclectic culture of San Francisco. That’s when Asana software engineer David Braginsky came into the picture. He shared the same vision of a space where people could relax with a cup of tea and interact with cats and other cat enthusiasts. Now they're making this dream a reality and looking forward to opening KitTea's doors to the San Francisco community in 2014.
*Thanks to Alasdair Monk for the kettle in our logo