A Sanctuary Cafe Logo with botanical border

Here’s to a Great 2023!

January 6, 2023| Issue 5

Window decorations at 80 Charles Street for the Beacon Hill Holiday Stroll.

Hello Friends,

Happy New Year! We hope you had a wonderful holiday.

It’s been a busy couple of months for A Sanctuary Cafe, and things are about to get a lot busier! To briefly recap:

December’s Zoning Board of Appeal Hearing: With several “yes” votes and a “meow,” the Zoning Board of Appeal approved our request for zoning relief! We hope to have this fully processed by the end of the month. Articles describing the hearing in more detail are in our inaugural “In the News” section below!

Meeting with the Health Department/ISD: Our biggest priority right now is preparing for our meeting with the Health Department next week, where they will review our plans for the space. We’ve already had multiple productive conversations with the Health Department and look forward to sharing our detailed plans with them.

Demo/Construction: We are cautiously optimistic we will be able to start construction around the end of January, and in preparation for that, our wonderful team at Sagamore Select has started preparing the space! (Keep scrolling for early demo photos and additional details.)

In the News

Demo Begins & Our Donation to Boston Building Resources

While we wait to meet with Boston’s Health Department and go through the other final steps needed to get our permit (finally) approved, we’re taking our first steps with demo! We can’t use some of the cabinets and counter tops left behind by the previous users of the space, but we’re so grateful for the care our construction team at Sagamore Select used to remove them from the walls, because it means we can donate them to the great nonprofit Boston Building Resources!

Throughout the demo and construction process, A Sanctuary Cafe is committed to being as low waste and environmentally friendly as possible. We will be reusing what we can, donating what we can’t, and using antique and upcycled/reclaimed materials whenever possible.

Next holiday season, we can’t wait to offer French Press’ Peppermint Macaron Christmas Tree, which pairs perfectly with this latte and/or your choice of book!

Currently Reading

Half a Soul by Olivia Atwater

A Dangerous Business by Jane Smiley

Have I Told You This Already? by

Lauren Graham

Small Things Like These by

Claire Keegan

Visit Our Bookshop.org Storefront!

Kampbell enjoying the holiday with a large selection of Christmas cat toys.

Brittany's Cat Corner: Why I Have Decided to Have Permanent Resident Cats (Part 2 of 2)

In our previous newsletter, we discussed why we’ve chosen permanent resident cats over an adoption center and our approach to selecting those cats. As promised, here is Part 2!

FAQ 3: Most cat cafes have adoptable cats to save lives! Isn’t that important to you? 

Yes! Ten years ago, Boston’s shelters were always filled to capacity, and adding another cat adoption space would have been a top priority. But things have changed: the many years of hard work by greater Boston’s cat lovers, from the #adoptdontshop movement to low-cost spay/neuter and TNR* programs, has shown results in the reduced shelter population of cats. This means that these days, many cages on shelter adoption floors are empty, and places like the Animal Rescue League of Boston (where I volunteer every week) have the opportunity to devote more time to finding the right fit for cats with particular needs, and get them to that new forever home faster. Put another way: why make cats go through the stress of another move (and the additional days they’ll need to settle in) if they can already find their forever home at the shelter that first took them in? 

FAQ 4: So your cats will live in the space 24 hours a day? Wouldn’t they be happier spending time in a traditional home environment? 

I understand that opinions will vary on this, but I don’t believe this is necessarily true, particularly for cats who have limited-to-no experience with a traditional home environment. I believe that cats who are used to the company of other cats will find the fellowship of several other cats familiar and comforting, while the regular food, cozy armchairs, adoring humans, and protection from the weather/cars/predators will be a wonderful bonus!

FAQ 5: If you aren't adopting out cats, are there other ways you'll be supporting local animal rescues? 

All of A Sanctuary Cafe's cats will be "rescues" from Boston-area animal shelters and rescue organizations, with a particular focus on adopting stray, community and colony cats. We are also very excited to be developing an affiliated nonprofit dedicated to helping Boston’s community cats (and the humans who support them)!

*TNR stands for trap-neuter-release or trap-neuter-return. To learn more, visit TrapKing’s great website.

No cats were harmed or inconvenienced in the taking of these holiday photos, with play and nap breaks enthusiastically supported. Purring, kneading, and repeated licks of the human’s nose suggest that Kampbell had a positive experience.

Newsletter Archives

In Our Next Newsletter

  • Construction Update
  • Updated Opening Timeline
  • Books!

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