BROOKVILLE — Krista Uhrin loves cats and coffee, so it made perfect sense for her to open a business that satisfies both passions — and at the same time helps find forever homes for cats.
“I love having a nice cup of coffee with my cats,” she said. “Of course, at the cafe, the cats are not in the food area.”
Uhrin, whose cafe is at 79 Pickering St. in Brookville, said the idea started in Taiwan and Japan, and now there are two cafes in Pittsburgh and one in Erie.
“Most of them don’t have (the cats) as separated as I do,” she said. “I have three rooms – the cafe, the kitchen and the cats have their own room at the back of the store.”
The cat room is more like a living room for critters. Cats have a couch and chairs to stretch out on, plenty of toys, and human visitors. People should plan a visit with the cats as they are very busy playing or just napping.
A notice in the cat room warns visitors not to wake napping felines.
The cats come to the cafe through Clarion PAWS Animal Shelter in Shippenville.
“I loved the idea and I love the idea of saving cats,” Uhrin said. “I work with them and they have so many cats. Some cats have been there for two years simply because people haven’t had the chance to know them. They always need litter and cat food.
Each of the café’s cats has a photo and a note on a bulletin board describing the animal’s personality.
“I have the application documents if anyone wants to adopt a cat,” Uhrin said. “Once the person is approved, they can pick up the cat here.”
Currently, Uhrin has nine cats at the cafe. She now has two cats at home, but she used to have up to 10. “We also have foster cats.”
Uhrin said she had always worked in retail, but before opening the cafe she had not worked in management.
“I wanted to do this because it’s the only coffee shop in town. We have places that do great food in Brookville, but no places that specialize in just coffee,” she said.
“I love coffee, and once my espresso machine is up and running, I’ll be able to offer lattes, mochas and specialty coffees. I buy my coffee locally and my baked goods are local.
Uhrin would also like to put in an oven. However, she said, “I don’t really focus on food. My aunt, Barb Henretty, is opening a new bakery, the Rolling Pin, and I’m hoping to get some snacks from her.
Uhrin plans to organize events to help local organizations.
“I’m having a sip and paint event on October 15, and it’s already booked. I also do a kids event on Halloween weekend. We’re going to do crafts and teach kids about cats,” she said.
To schedule a visit to the Cat Room, call 814-849-7660 or visit www.TheCalicoCafePA.com.