Victoria woman Ashley Deiter owns Mask and Mantle Cat Cafe, a project she hopes to open soon in Victoria (File contributed/Flickr)

Victoria woman one step closer to opening region’s first cat cafe

Ashley Deiter’s Kickstarter page surpassed its goal, making the Mask and Mantle Cafe a possibility

A new feline-themed cafe is one step closer to pouncing into business.

The Mask and Mantle Cafe, owned by Victoria woman Ashley Deiter, was the centre of a Kickstarter campaign aiming to raise $7,500 towards launching Greater Victoria’s first cat cafe. Cat cafes have sprung up in popularity across the world, and encompass a coffee and eatery area, and a separate cat lounge where patrons can choose to enjoy their cup of Joe with some furry friends. The cats are typically rescue cats up for adoption.

As with all Kickstarter initiatives, the fundraiser was an all-or-nothing event, meaning if Deiter didn’t reach her goal she wouldn’t get any of the funds.

The deadline closed on Oct. 8, and luckily the cafe managed to surpass its goal and gather more than $8,700.

ALSO READ: Victoria woman hopes to open city’s first cat cafe

“I’m super excited that we managed to not only hit the goal but exceed it,” Deiter said. “It gives me a lot of confidence that the community supports this and proved the need for a cat cafe in the city.”

Now Deiter seeks the perfect location for her business. She has appointments at three spots this week, and hopes to stay in the outskirts of the downtown Victoria or Saanich areas, including near Capital Iron, Discovery Street or near Tillicum Mall.

“I have a very specific vision for how I want to cat lounge to be designed,” she said. “I want natural sunlight, and to have ample parking for people, for it to be accessible to people and to be on a bus route for students.”

She has also been busy keeping in conversation with local cat rescue societies to ensure everyone is on the same page for the project.

ALSO READ: Saanich council scratches cat control bylaws

Deiter already has some personal funds as well as private investments made to support initial start up costs, while the Kickstarter funds will be used to “catify” the lounge and purchase cat trees, cat beds, scratching posts, litter boxes, toys and food.

Presently, Deiter is also in the process of creating and shipping all the thank-you swag she promised any donors to her Kickstarter campaign.

“I just want to stress how grateful I am for everyone’s positivity and the great feedback from the community so far,” she said.

Deiter hopes to be able to open her business in March 2020.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com

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