Entrepreneur

This Filipino Entrepreneur Translated His Love for Pets Into a Successful Cat Café

When you walk into this shabby-chic inspired cafe, you will be greeted with a veranda, which is dotted with sturdy metal chairs with cat-printed cushions on it.

At the cafe, you can order sweet treats or beverages, and overall, the place has a cheery and relaxed vibe overall.

The moment you walk up to the second floor, it transports you to cat paradise. There are approximately 14 of these adorable felines chilling in their favourite spots – in lofts and walkways, bookshelves, or simply stretching it out at their cat tower.

Inspired By A Cat Cafe In Singapore

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Image Credit: Metro Pets

This particular cat cafe in the Philippines was founded by entrepreneur Chito Aclon, and it first opened doors in early 2015.

Aclon first came across a cat cafe when he visited Singapore in 2014. He was inspired by this unique concept, but was dissatisfied with how the café was being ran.

It had a small number of cats, and most of them were sleeping – this did not cater to its large customer crowd at all. So this propelled Aclon to build his own cat café someday.

Fast forward to early 2015, Aclon eventually set up shop in Pasay, and Velvet Friends Cat Cafe was born.

Image Credit: Metro Pets

The café houses rare-bred tabbies from Asia and Europe, as well as British Shorthair, American Curl and Cornish Rex. They also have an in-house Puspin (domesticated short-hair in the Philippines).

A Cat Haven

Located in Blue Baywalk, Velvet Friends is where pet lovers can come on relaxed afternoons, and cuddle with an adorable feline of their fancy.

Image Credits: candidheadlines.com

There are two areas inside the shop: the Café and the Haven.

The Haven is an area that houses the cats. In here, guests can play, cradle and coo with these furry creatures for approximately an hour.

Customers are free to pet and cuddle these cats, as long as they handle them with care.

“When they come to my cat café, they’ll be able to not only touch, but to experience cats in a very good way,” Aclon told Entrepreneur Philippines.

Guests can also bring their pet cats, as long as they bring proof of vaccination. They can also house them in the cafe’s very own cat hotel.

Image Credits: candidheadlines.com

The café downstairs offer guests yummy treats like coffee, milkshakes, cakes, cupcakes that are heavenly to the palate.

However, it is unfortunate that they have yet to implement an online reservation system unlike many pet cafes around the metro. But if you happen to be in the vicinity and want to drop by the cafe, you can be assured that they accept walk-in customers too.

A Promising Future

Chito Aclon (fourth from right) and his team / Image Credit: Metro Pets

The business enjoyed a revenue of a whopping Php 566,000 in 2015, according to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Business expansion is already underway. Aclon is working on building another branch in the South, somewhere near Tagaytay; and is set to open later this year.

He added that he is looking forward to see the pet café industry grow. Since many Filipinos are pet lovers, he is certain that there is a huge market for it.

Indeed, with many pet cafés popping up all over the country, his cat cafe certainly holds a promising future ahead.

Featured Image Credit: Entrepreneur Philippines

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