Small Business Saturday: Constellation Cat Cafe | Greater Lansing Area Moms

Constellation Cat Cafe is a combination coffee shop and cat lounge located on Lake Lansing road in East Lansing.  It is the perfect place to grab a coffee and cuddle up with purring kitties.  They also offer many creative and fun events, facilitate cat adoptions and are just the kindest group you will ever meet.  

Welcome to GLAMoms, Cat Constellation Cafe – we are in love with your warm, welcoming and unique business that offers so much to so many.

Tell us all about Constellation Cat Cafe!  
I (Kelsey Maccombs) opened Constellation Cat Cafe in September 2019  with a ton of help from my loved ones after almost a year of fundraising, chaos, and construction.

Constellation Cat Cafe has a full service coffee bar, stocked with beans from 517 Coffee Company, and 10-20 adoptable rescue kitties (in a separate room from the coffee shop). You can snuggle up with kittens, adopt a cat, attend trivia or craft nights, or stop in for a delicious latte on your way to work. We have a small team of employees devoted to adoptions and cat care, but for the most part, our volunteers are the ones completing wellness checks, scooping litter, refilling food bowls, and endlessly cleaning and sanitizing the space.

My team and I are committed to making CCC a safe space where everyone, especially those from the BIPOC, LGBTQ+, Neurodivergent, Houseless, Disabled communities and other marginalized groups can exist without fear of discrimination.

We partner with two rescues, Saved by Zade and Happy Feet Pet Rescue, to provide a safe and loving experience for all cats who come through our doors. Almost 800 cats have been adopted since we opened in fall of 2019.

What’s your background? What led you to open Constellation Cat Cafe?
My degree is actually in environmental policy, but once the idea of opening a cat cafe was in my head, it wouldn’t leave. I’d fostered kittens for six years and felt more sure of the cat cafe than anything I’ve ever done. I was a manager at Zap Zone throughout college, so I knew I could handle a small business, but I didn’t realize I was effectively starting two completely separate businesses at the same time. 

What do you love about having a business in the Greater Lansing area?
I love living and working in a space where small business owners lift each other up. We have so much gratitude for our neighbors and community members who have helped us remain open despite the pandemic’s impact. Customer service is notoriously rough, but our customers make it lovely most days. 

What has been the most challenging part of running your business during COVID, and how did you overcome it?
The money (or lack thereof) has been hard, but the unpredictability is harder. I can’t plan more than two weeks out, because things change all the time. We tend to be stricter on COVID safety than is required locally – we’re currently requiring masks regardless of vaccination status – and there’s definitely some pushback. 

When I think about my regulars whose immune systems were destroyed by chemotherapy or are too young to be vaccinated, I’m confident in our policies. But I hate making my baristas’ jobs harder. Sometimes their first interaction with a new customer is to ask them to mask up instead of welcoming them into our space. 

What are some exciting plans you have for the business in 2021 and as we move towards 2022?
So many events! You can see our full schedule at meow.cool/events – we have friendship bracelets and string art coming up, plus a super cute safari-themed scavenger hunt for little ones.

We’re looking forward to celebrating our second anniversary with an Adopt-A-Thon weekend September 25-26. We’ll have vendors, adoptable cats, an auction, giveaways, and family friendly activities.

Our new GM spent the last decade living in the UK, so she’s working on an authentic afternoon tea service that I cannot wait for. Plus, we’re bringing back our (Is it too braggy to say “award winning”?) trivia nights this fall.

What’s your favorite businesses in the Greater Lansing area 🙂 ?
Can I list 50? I’m obsessed with Clean Refillery, a package free store in REO Town with major Rose Apothecary vibes. The Constellation employees had an amazing shoot in June with Like the Planet Photography – I hate having my picture taken, but Mars made everyone feel so comfortable and the results were gorgeous. This was our second summer with our CSA, Faivor Fresh Produce in St. Johns, and we’ve been so spoiled with local veggies.

Anything else you would like to share with GLAMoms?,
What if a litter of kittens moved into your bathroom for six weeks? Wouldn’t that be the cutest? Visit savedbyzade.com or happyfeetpetrescue.com to learn how your family can save lives by fostering cats.

Is there any sort of promotion you would like to offer GLAMom’s followers?  
Use coupon code GLAM at constellationcatcafe.com/visit to save $5 on any cat room visit. Valid through October 31, 2021.

Thanks Kelsey 🙂

Want to learn more about Cat Constellation Cat Cafe or go for a visit?  
Call or text the cafe: (517) 918-4919
Instagram: constellationcatcafe
Facebook: facebook.com/constellationcatcafe
Website: constellationcatcafe.com

Thank you to our generous Small Business Saturday sponsor, MSU Federal Credit Union

Do you know of a Greater Lansing area business GLAMoms should have as a Saturday Small Business Saturday feature?  Please email info@greaterlansingareamoms.com

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