We Wanna Be Friends With KitTea Founder, Courtney Hatt


Courtney Hatt really loves cats. So much in fact, that she wants to drink tea with them at a table. That's probably why she founded San Francisco's first café for felines, KitTea

To be fair, KitTea was founded by three 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. (Yes, humans can go too). 

"Our patrons will enjoy all the benefits that playing with cats provides: from the pure joy and fun of the fur balls 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," boasts the website. 

But the new cat sanctuary isn't just comfy chairs and warm bowls of milk— rescuing cats is important too. KitTea is partnering with Wonder Cat Rescue and Give Me Shelter to populate the cafe and manage adoptions (Yup, all of the kitties will be adoptable, so if you fall in love you can take one home).

But where did she get the inspiration? Japan (of course), where stressed employees often head to similar cozy cafes to mingle and relax after work. 

Hatt used Crowdtilt to crowdfund over $60,000 to open shop and is currently looking at spaces in San Francisco with the hope of opening by this Fall. Until then, you can reserve your visit, and follow them on Twitter and Facebook for cafe updates and your daily dose of cute cat photos.

1. What neighborhood do you currently call home? Would you ever move or are you happy in your 'hood?  

NOPA/Western Addition/Alamo Square/Whatever people call it these days? I am happy and comfy here! This neighborhood is the Almond Roca of the litter box AKA a real gem. There is a nice blend of people here and it feels non judgmental, creative, and diverse.

2. What's your hands-down, absolute favorite thing to eat in SF?

Can we change this to favorite "things?" I'll keep the list at a top three.

1.  The french fries from Chez Maman

2.  Monday pizza nights at The Mill

3.  The vegetarian sandwich at the new 4505 Burgers and BBQ

4.  Pasta from Perbacco

So I am a liar, that was a list of four.

3. What's your perfect night on the town?

Bowling, arcade games, and dancing with friends.  I'm essentially a middle schooler at heart, clearly.

4. When you need a low-key afternoon, where do you go for down time?

My backyard, or bedroom, since my cats like to nap on my bed all afternoon— that is the only way to spend time with them.

5. What's your favorite place to go on a day trip from the city?

Anywhere with hot springs, or a beautiful beach

6. Quick-fire round

Burrito or Burger: Egg

Presidio or Golden Gate Park: Golden Gate Park

BiRite or Mitchell's: BiRite, but I have yet to shop at Mitchell's

Bike or MUNI: Biking in any city scares me, so MUNI. That is saying a lot though, because I would really prefer to teleport.

Fort Mason or Dolores Park: Alamo Square - it has pretty views and it has an off leash dog park.  I don't personally have a dog, I just like to watch other people's dogs.

The Independent or the Fillmore: Depends on who is performing.

Baker Beach or Ocean Beach: Baker Beach. Three words: Old-dude penis envy.

7. Three words that describe your life in SF?

Laughter, Online, Ligers.

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