It all started with a porch bird feeder. Aby Cruz and Jeremy Mercer discovered that their cat, Pumpkin, enjoyed watching the birds and squirrels eat from the bird feeder, so they decided to make it simpler for him by placing a seed box on the ground. It took a while, but the animals soon began eating from the box as well.
That is how the Critter Cafe came to be.
“One of us joked, ‘Hey, wouldn’t it be hilarious if we turned this into a restaurant for the local critters?’ while gazing out the window at the animals eating. “We both thought it was a great idea and went to Walmart right away to purchase the ingredients,” Cruz told The Dodo.
Cruz spent the night making all of the cafe’s tables, signage, and decorations. They put everything up the next day, then waited for their first clients.
Both with the animals and on TikTok, where the pair broadcasts footage of their crowded café, the eatery was an instant hit. Pumpkin was clearly on to something from the beginning, and the pair now jokes that Pumpkin is the cafe manager. Everyone enjoys seeing the birds, squirrels, and other creatures stop by for a snack, and it’s much more enjoyable now since the environment is so dang adorable.
“Customers come and leave at all hours of the day and night,” Cruz explained. “Every five to ten minutes, we usually see two to three guests dining at our wonderful business.”
The café has become a huge hit, and it’s something of a side project for the pair. They like coming up with new ways to improve it, and they’re overjoyed that they’ve discovered a method to delight both the cat and themselves while also helping the local animals.
” Every day that we get to manage this business together, we simply enjoy it.”