Vancouver's Catoro Cafe suffers break-in attempts during struggles to stay open

Jan 11 2023, 8:56 pm

“If you watch our Instagram stories, you’ll have noticed someone cracked one of our front windows on Sunday night,” Catoro posted on Instagram yesterday. “Well, the window technicians weren’t able to come yesterday to board it up and we had to leave it that way overnight. But last night, while we were sleeping peacefully, the same guy was busy trying to break into Catoro.

“Possibly because he thought there would be extra cash on hand (we don’t keep any cash in the cafe overnight) or possibly because he saw something he thought he could steal — we’ll never know.”

Catoro Pets

Catoro Pets/Instagram

Catoro staff came in on Tuesday morning to find the cafe’s front window boarded up and glass all over the host room floor.

“The cats are kept securely in the Cat Forest overnight and they are all fine. But it’s disappointing, especially while we’re running this amazing fundraiser, to have another problem on our plates and another expense to deal with… Sadly, we know that it’s not just an issue that we’ve had to face. So many other businesses regularly deal with the same things.”

Catoro’s social media post also thanked the “kind neighbours who called the police and filed reports.”

The break-in attempts come at a time when the cafe has had to launch a GoFundMe campaign in order to stave off imminent closure.

Catoro Cafe

Daniel Chai/Daily Hive

Catoro, which opened in 2019 at 666 East Broadway, is struggling with increased expenses and the aftereffects of debts accrued during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In less than a week, the fundraiser has nearly reached its goal of $100,000 and is currently at over $96,000 raised.

“In just a few short days, our GoFundMe campaign is almost fully funded,” said Annah van Eeghen, general manager of Catoro. “We are absolutely blown away by the community support. So many people value what we are doing here at Catoro and have generously donated their money and time to help us make our goal. It is a humbling experience to see how much Catoro means.”

Catoro Cafe

Daniel Chai/Daily Hive

Van Eeghen told Daily Hive that the cafe’s number one priority is cat care and that they will be allocating funds to food, medicine, litter, and enrichment for the approximately 30 cats in their care.

“We also require some upgraded equipment in the back room and some repairs around the shop,” she added. “Catoro also had a big flood on New Year’s Eve that hasn’t been properly fixed yet so that is a priority as well. We will be catching up on our vet bills as we currently have some cats with ongoing health issues that require extra care right now.

Catoro will also be sending a portion of proceeds directly to its rescue partners, SOS Prairie Rescue and Running Wild, and a portion of the funds will go to debt repayment.

Catoro Cafe

Daniel Chai/Daily Hive

“Our goal this year is to rescue and find homes for 300 more cats, so this will help us do that,” Van Eeghen added. “To our community, I would like to say thank you so much for your words of encouragement. When we saw the donations coming in over the weekend while we were in Catoro, it was so emotional.

“Your stories of rescue cats adopted from Catoro have melted our hearts and our staff feel loved, supported, and uplifted. This is something our whole team will carry in their hearts as a major milestone for Catoro and for animal rescue.”

More details on Catoro Cafe’s GoFundMe campaign can be found online.

Catoro Cafe

Address: 666 E Broadway, Vancouver
Phone: 604-423-2987

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Daniel ChaiDaniel Chai

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