Mind Your Wake, Ep. 1: The Purrfect Business Model?

Purrfect Day Cafe is a small business in Louisville, KY that has partnered with the Kentucky Humane Society to transform the cat adoption experience in Kentucky. Canopy’s Elshadai Smith-Mensah caught up with owner Chuck Patton to learn more about this social enterprise.

On a busy road in Louisville’s popular highlands shopping district, Purrfect Day Cafe occupies a modest storefront. Looking in the large windows, one can see people of all ages enjoying time with adorable cats. All-day and late into the evenings, customers schedule hour-long visits with kitties while enjoying the food and beverages the cafe has to offer. Some people are lounging with sleeping cats on their lap others are on the floor playing with rambunctious kittens. It easy to see that the business is thriving and it’s having a positive impact on Kentucky’s animal welfare community.

The cat room at Purrfect Day Cafe

“Cat Cafe’s started in Asia,” according to Chuck Patton, owner of Purrfect Day Cafe, “where people could not have cats in their apartments or just such small areas. So, they would go to a lot of these boutique places where the cats are all pretty, their rare. The American version of that, if you will, is ‘how do I get these cats adopted?”

The cafe has partnered with the Kentucky Humane Society (KHS) to embed an adoption program into the business that is transforming the adoption experience. According to Andrea Blair, Director of PR & Marketing at KHS, the cafe’s business model is having an impact beyond Louisville.”It’s a place to go and meet cats, hang out with other cat people, have some fun food, cocktails, things like that. We’re thinking at this point we might approach 1,200 adoptions or more in one year, which just seems incredible. And so, because of this relationship with Purrrfect Day Cafe, because of how popular it was, we were running out of cats! So, we decided to reach out to other communities throughout Kentucky. I think right now, we’re pulling cats from fourteen different counties throughout Kentucky.”

 

Chuck Patton, Owner

I've got to create KPI's that I call Kitty Purrformance IndiCATors. -Chuck Patton

 

The cafe is a “purrfect” example of a social enterprise. It is a for-profit organization that has embedded its mission into their products and services. By operationalizing their social good, Purrfect Day Cafe is provided the most nourishing kind of support for their non-profit partner, KHS: sustained funding.

“The main mission that we have here,” says Chuck, “is that we want to be Louisville’s most unique destination. And we want everyone to think of this spot, Purrrfect Day Cafe, as the place where you go predate, post-date, people that are just coming in just to have fun… and the reason why is because all the numbers, all the traffic, that drives up adoptions.”

Chuck also pointed out, “Kentucky ranks 50th out of 50 when it comes to animal welfare. We really want to change that by doing all these adoptions.”

As Chuck points out in the interview, he did receive some pushback in the animal welfare community when people insisted that he should be non-profit. Being an experienced businessman, Chuck felt confident that he could make a positive impact while also making a profit. He just had to measure it.

Since opening in late 2018, Purrfect Day Cafe has created nearly 2,500 adoptions! And, the business continues to innovate with new services, like Cat Yoga, they are setting new standards in the matchmaking process for cats and their owners.

To find out more about the cafe and their mission head over to Purrfect Day Cafe.

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