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Local cat café saved by community, donations

Local cat café saved by community, donations
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Posted at 5:45 AM, Nov 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-10 06:39:39-05

EAST LANSING, Mich. — Since the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March, many local businesses took a financial hit.

One of those businesses was the Constellation Cat Cafe in East Lansing. However, one social media post helped save the café from layoffs and closing down.

“We might just have to have a cat room open for a little bit and not have the café side,” said owner Kelsey Maccombs.

Kelsey told FOX 47 News that the adoptions were staying consistent throughout the pandemic, but that does not bring in profit to support the café side.

“We have been losing money pretty steadily for the past couple of months and I was like this is actually really bad,” Maccombs said.

Moving to curbside pickup in July became another challenge.

“It’s just really hard because I have no interest in laying off my baristas. I love them and also they work so hard and it’s really not fair for them to just not have a job anymore for no fault of their own,” Maccombs said.

Maccombs decided to take her concerns to Instagram and Facebook to let the community know the business was struggling.

“When I saw (the post), that had been after I paid taxes and got a tax return, so I thought what could be better than spending tax return money on the cat café,” said Christina Abel, who is a loyal customer.

“I know that people like cats and are happy that we’re here but for so many people to show up and be like ‘no, we want you to stay here we want you to be able to stay open, we’re going to support you,' it just felt really amazing,” Maccombs said.

Kelsey told FOX 47 News she was stunned by the amount of support she received by just one post.

"Thursday night, we started getting in donations and then Friday through Sunday we just had a huge outpouring of donations, Maccombs said. “Traffic in our coffee shop, people just coming in and buying tons of drinks and lots of cat room bookings. We had over $9,000 dollars in sales and donations, and that is huge for us.”

That amount is what the café typically does in one-month worth of sales. The Constellation Cafe is still accepting donations at www.constellationcatcafe.com.

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