Coffee? Cats? Cafe!

English teacher Mackenzie Everett-Kennedy and her family have dreams for a new type of coffee shop.

Ella Boyt and Camille Manary

Long-time Hickman teacher and graduate, Mackenzie Everett-Kennedy, commonly known as EK, is hoping to open a cat-friendly cafe, along with her husband, Ryan Kennedy. Their inspiration came from a cafe in Seoul, South Korea on a vacation with her husband and daughter, Stella. The name “Papa’s Cat Cafe,” came from the nickname given to Ryan by their daughter as well as his favorite author, Ernest Hemingway, who shares the same nickname.


Not only will this cafe pay tribute to his relationship with his daughter and his favorite author, Hemingway, it will also reflect the Everett-Kennedy family love of Spain. Several years ago, the Everett-Kennedy family spent a month in the Spanish capital of Madrid. Biscuits and cookies will also be offered among the diverse espresso and juice menu. The pastry that they are most excited to offer is the lengua de gato con chocolate. This cookie brings back memories of their family spending many nights sharing the lengua de gato at Spanish cafes.


The general concept behind a cat cafe is to combine a coffee shop with an opportunity to snuggle with cats. The cafe had a Kick-Starter and exceeded the goal of $15,000. It is set to open this spring, making it a possible spot for studying as finals approach at the end of second semester. Along with opening a business, certain challenges will arise. Papa’s cat cafe is facing one main challenge, zoning/ health code concerns.


On January 4th, a location has been leased as a great leap of faith towards reaching the Everett-Kennedy dream come true. Funding is no longer an issue as more and more people contributed to their business due to the publicity on Facebook for their online Kickstarter. When it comes to health code violations, the largest concerns deal with keeping the cats separate from food preparation.


However, after designing a floor plan that separates the kitchen from the cats, this is no longer an issue. All cats will be up for adoption from Boone County Animal Care. This is a local, no-kill animal shelter that helps take in feral cats to keep them off the streets. If you are interested in adoption, there will be rooms available for you to be with the cat one on one. The cafe is hoping to appeal to students that can not own pets of their own in dorms, and also serving as a quiet place to study. Not only is the cat cafe supporting boone county animals, but it is serving our community a small piece of Spanish cuisine. With the support from the community, Papa’s Cat Cafe should be a wonderful addition to Columbia and a great place to grab a cup ‘o joe.