Saturday, September 24, 2022

Gato Café Update- What Happened After Shark Tank

Gato Café Before Shark Tank

Will the sharks help make the dream of Gato Café a reality?
Will the sharks help make the dream of Gato Café a reality?

Adriana Montana noticed the growing trend of ‘cat cafes’ all over the world and decided to try her hand at introducing the concept in Florida. The idea for Gato Café was first launched in 2014 when Adriana channeled her inner cat-lady and ran an Indie Go-Go campaign. The cat café trend is a big phenomenon in Asia and becoming more popular in Europe so Adriana thought Florida was ready.

Unfortunately, the Indie Go-Go Campaign was not near as successful as Adriana had hoped and she did not manage to raise anything close to the desired $75,000 she was originally looking for. However, the idea for Gato Café came to the attention of the shark tank producers. They approached Adriana and asked her if she would like to appear on the show. With the prospect of getting the investment she needed as well as the media coverage that goes with the television show, Adriana decided to accept the offer.

What will the sharks’ reactions be when Adriana enters the shark tank with her Gato Café pitch? Will any of the sharks channel their inner animal-lover to make the first cat café in Florida a reality?

Gato Café On Shark Tank

Adriana enters the shark tank armed with a handful of cute kittens. The sharks are instantly intrigued with both Lori and Nick admitting the kittens are extremely cute. Mr. Wonderful does not seem impressed so far – no big surprise there. Adriana introduces herself and explains her idea of the cat café. One of the kittens wander over to Lori and she is only too happy to pick it up and put it on her lap. Adriana explains that to achieve her dream of opening the cat café she is looking for an investment of $100,000 in return for a twenty per cent equity share in her business. She acknowledges the fact that the sharks may think her and this whole idea is crazy however Adriana goes on to explain that cat cafes are popping up all over the world. Gato Café would be the first of its kind in Florida. Adriana states that even Mr. Wonderful could come in and enjoy his coffee among some furry feline friends. Kevin’s expression is indifferent while Mark who finds this highly amusing laughs. Adriana also tells the sharks that small animals like cats have a calming and soothing effect on those who spend time with them. Not only can you enjoy your coffee, you can also enjoy the added health benefits that spending time with animals brings. Adriana finishes up her pitch by asking which shark is her ‘purrrfect partner’?

Lori is still quite content with her kitten and Daymond asks if each shark gets a kitten to hold. Daymond, Lori and Nick enjoy some time with the kittens while Mark looks on amused. Kevin’s expression is still unreadable. Lori asks Adriana where the Gato Café will be to which Adriana replies in the very diverse area of Boca Raton, Florida. Mark is still amused at the whole idea, however he wishes Adriana the very best of luck and success in the future before declaring himself out. Adriana wishes to explain herself further before Mark declares himself out and informs the sharks that the cats and all the cats that will be in the café are rescue cats. All cats will be up for adoption so you have the chance to take one home if you so wish. Adriana pulls on the heartstrings and claims that the sharks are not rejecting her but the cats. Mark replies that he loves the cats but he is out.

Kevin breaks his silence and asks what floor of the building would the Gato Café be on. Adriana replies that she is hoping for ground level. Kevin harshly replies that if it was on a higher level, ‘you could open the window and you wouldn’t have a cat problem anymore.’ Adriana berates Kevin for his harsh words claiming that she is so disappointed in him right now.

Nick asks how the Gato Café could be profitable to which Adriana replies that you must pay an entrance fee to enter the cat café. Lori asks how is this relatively new concept to the United States at least, different from a pet store. Adriana explains that you get to sit down and have some coffee and a snack while enjoying some time with the cats as opposed to browsing through a pet store. Daymond asks about the price of the entry fee to which Adriana replies that it costs nine dollars to enter Gato Café.

Lori with one of the rescue kittens that could be part of Gato Café if the sharks are willing to invest
Lori with one of the rescue kittens that could be part of Gato Café if the sharks are willing to invest

Kevin goes on to ask if there are any restrictions in the Unites States regarding the serving of food in an environment where there will be cats roaming free. Adriana states that in Florida food establishments are not considered food establishments if it only serves beverages and pre-packaged foods. Daymond is interested to know how big the Gato Café would be to which Adriana replies that she does not have a store yet and it is just a concept at present. There is a clear shift in the shark tank with the sharks becoming less impressed with the idea as the information is revealed.

Lori sums up what the Gato Café is all about to wonders why would someone pay the nine-dollar entry fee when they could go to an anti-cruelty society and spend some time with rescue animals free of charge. Nick defends the idea of the Gato Café by saying the anti-cruelty societies are not the nicest environments to be in. Adriana agrees with Nick and tells the sharks about her experience working in animal shelters. Unfortunately, she claims that almost seventy per cent of the cats that find themselves in these rescue shelters will be killed. That is why she wanted to do something and given the fact that cat cafes are becoming more popular, the Gato Café was the perfect solution for Adriana.

Nick surprises the other sharks by saying that he thinks Adriana has got something with this idea. In fact he thinks it is awesome and states that his three sons would want to visit the café regularly. He then goes on to say that the most viewed videos on YouTube are cat-related. Further to that the most popular video on the GoPro channel is a fireman saving a kitten. So people really do love cats. But does Nick like this idea enough to invest?

Daymond also acknowledges the fact that cat cafes are huge in Japan and will start popping up all over the place. Adriana informs the sharks that in California, three cat cafés will be open in the coming year. Lori is surprised by this piece of information. Daymond points out the massive flaw in Adriana’s plan. The fact that she has no established property for Gato Café makes it difficult for the sharks as potential investors to take a chance on the business.

Kevin breaks his silence once again claiming that he has a long history with cats to which Adriana replies ‘I don’t think it’s a good one’. Kevin regales a story of a part-time job he had while studying in college. Encountering one particular cat made Kevin realize he did not like cats so for that reason, he declares himself out.

Lori thinks it is admirable that Adriana is taking on to save and rescue cats. She encourages Adriana to keep going but for now she declares herself out. Daymond agrees with Lori and says that Adriana is on point with where she is going. He would love to do the deal but right now the concept for him is not enough. Unfortunately, for that reason, Daymond too declares himself out.

That just leaves Nick who claims that if a cat café was in his hometown he would visit it all the time. Just like Daymond, the problem for Nick is that the concept is not quite enough for him. For that reason, Nick declares himself out. He encourages Adriana to keep going with her dream and wishes her the very best of luck. Adriana leaves the shark tank without a deal but she is more determined than ever to make the Gato Café work.

Gato Café Now in 2018- The After Shark Tank Update

After the show, Adriana and Gato Café got quite a lot of media coverage as a result of the appearance on the shark tank. For that reason, she decided to set up another crowd funding campaign. What with the first crowd funding campaign being a complete and utter flop, Adriana was more confident that with the media coverage the concept of Gato Café had received, the second crowd funding campaign would help her reach her goal of opening Florida’s first cat café. Although there were a lot of positive comments on social media regarding the concept of Gato Café after the shark tank episode aired, when it came to parting with their money and making a donation to Gato Café people were not so willing.  The second crowd funding campaign ended after two months with just twelve people backing the idea and donating. Unfortunately for Adriana the campaign was even less successful.

Gato Café may never have materialised to anything more than a concept. There is no doubt however that cat cafes are becoming more and more of a trend all over the world. Perhaps in a few years Florida will be ready but for now Adriana’s dream of Gato Café has not materialised.

klally@tcd.ie'
Katie Lally
After travelling all over Asia, I have just returned back home to Ireland. I've been writing for the past two years. I'm a big animal lover, a complete foodie and a Muay Thai newbie.
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1 COMMENT

  1. It’s great that this idea is becoming so popular! Now Florida has it’s very first Cat Cafe with adoptable cats. 🙂 Since grand opening on September 8th of 2016 Orlando Cat Cafe has had 75 successful adoptions. WOW! This is such a purr-fect idea! I hope to see more kitties find their forever homes across the United States via this idea.

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