April Local Gem of the Month: Gem City Catfe

By Rebecca Ball, Editor-in-chief

Congratulations to The Flyer’s 2018 April Local Gem of the Month winner, Gem City Catfe! Gem City Catfe is a local business that recently opened up on Jan. 2nd, 2018 at 1513 E 5th St, Dayton, OH.

Cats, coffee and art. This trio is highlighted as soon as you step foot into the Gem City Catfe. On the bottom floor of the establishment a coffee shop, and a cozy seating area is on the left side; to the right you will see a glass weatherproof box the reaches the ceiling filled with cats, scratching post, seating and more. Then, on the top floor of the building is an art gallery, along with long tables and chairs to work on, or sit and chat with one another.

The Catfe is partnered up with the non-profit Gem City Kitties to help adopt and shelter homeless cats in the community. Their mission is to foster positive interactions between cats and people, in an expectation free environment. They do this by allowing people to sit and relax, but be around cats at the same time without the hassle of allergies or commitment of owning a cat.

Owner Karin Johnson wants there to be more awareness for cats. According to the Kitten Coalition over 1.4 million cats are euthanized each year in the United States. While only about 670,000 dogs are euthanized in that same amount of time.

“What I saw working at shelters was that cats have a lot less funding and awareness,” she said. “The online foot traffic of our websites was mainly towards dogs, while cats had barely any views.”

As a way to combat the neglect for cats, they tried to combine cat adoption with one of the most loved drinks in America, coffee. According to news article by US Today, over 83 percent of Americans drink coffee each year, making coffee a staple. 

However, Johnson was worried about the negative effect of having cats in a coffee shop. She didn’t want people worried about health risks or allergies to be turned down by the idea of a catfe. To counter this idea she made the ventilation system of the cat area and the coffee shop completely separate.

That means that if you are allergic to cats, the particles and the hair that may give you an allergic reaction are not circulating the air. People with cat allergies can still enjoy the benefits of the coffee while only looking at the cat’s behind a weather-proof glass wall.

“The cats are totally separate from the food area, the glass is storefront glass so it was meant to keep any weather elements out,” Johnson said.

As for the coffee area, the Catfe doesn’t just sell any old ordinary cappuccinos or lattes, they actually serve original espresso drinks, as well as the more Americanized drinks we all know and love.

“We have a very comprehensive espresso machine,” she said. “We focus on the traditional standards of drinks as well as more Americanized drinks.”

Not only is the coffee made in a more traditional style, but is locally roasted as well. “We serve Boston Stoker coffee, which is locally roasted in Dayton and is in direct trade with the farmers that grow the coffee,” Johnson said.

Although the coffee is a great benefit to the Catfe, one of the most useful features that can relate to all walks of life is the Gem City Catfe’s free WiFi, along with plenty of space. They have both their downstairs and upstairs accommodated for people to sit, mingle, or work with others and get work done, or to just relax.

Please stop by and give the Gem City Catfe a try! Enjoy the drinks, food, art, and most importantly the cats!

To learn more or adopt a cat go to their website: Gem City Catfé

Or visit their social media accounts…

Facebook: Gem City Catfe

Instagram: gemcitycatfe