Dog cafe pops up in Or­lando’s Curry Ford West district

Orlando Sentinel - - Obituaries - By Pa­trick Con­nolly Find me on Twit­ter @PCon­nPie, In­sta­gram @PCon­nPie or send me an email: pcon­nolly @or­lan­dosen­

You may be fa­mil­iar with cat cafes, but what about a dog cafe? That’s a new con­cept pet par­ents and an­i­mal en­thu­si­asts can en­joy at a pop-up cof­fee shop in Or­lando’s Curry Ford West district.

Sam & Ge­orge Cof­fee Co. was cre­ated by Fran Chong and her hus­band, Adam, in an ef­fort to pro­vide a dog-friendly space to en­joy cof­fee and con­nect po­ten­tial pup par­ents with adopt­able pooches.

“Orig­i­nally, we wanted it to be very sim­i­lar to a cat cafe where ev­ery day there are dogs up for adop­tion. The hur­dle that we would need to jump through is that all the dogs that would be here would need to be fos­tered by us,” Chong said. “In­stead, you’re able to bring your dog with you, sip on cof­fee … but we will des­ig­nate one or two week­ends a month for spe­cial adop­tion events at the cafe.”

The adopt­able dogs will come from Pet Al­liance of Greater Or­lando, an or­ga­ni­za­tion that Chong said has been very sup­port­ive of her busi­ness idea.

“We’re big be­liev­ers that when you take the dog out of the shel­ter and bring him into a set­ting that re­sem­bles a home, their true per­son­al­i­ties do shine,” she said. “I think that would be a bet­ter way to see if the dog matches with the po­ten­tial owner.”

The cof­fee is sourced from Axum Cof­fee, a com­pany whose mis­sion it is to “make a dif­fer­ence” and cul­ti­vate com­mu­nity.

At the Curry Ford pop-up shop, which will be open through July 18, a chic at­mos­phere, com­plete with a wooden cof­fee bar and seat­ing, wel­comes in visi­tors and their pups.

“We’ve tried to in­cor­po­rate that homey idea. There are couches, it’s a great place to come and chill with your dog,” Chong said.

The name for Sam & Ge­orge Cof­fee Co. was in­spired by Fran and Adam’s two dogs, an 11-year-old Ger­man Shep­ard/ Rot­tweiler mix, Sam, and nineyear-old Basenji/Boxer mix

Ge­orge. The two made an ap­pear­ance at the pop-up Fri­day, and other dogs were not al­lowed in that day.

“We orig­i­nally had a dif­fer­ent com­pany name, it was very generic,” Chong said. “We re­al­ized we wanted it to be more per­sonal, and we were like, ‘Why don’t we name it after the dogs?’ … There’s a story be­hind the name and when our dogs do pass on, they’ll still be liv­ing on through their legacy.”

The busi­ness is still look­ing for a per­ma­nent lo­ca­tion but Chong said she’s open to the pos­si­bil­ity of set­ting up shop in Curry Ford West fol­low­ing the pop-up.

“We would def­i­nitely be open with stay­ing where we are be­cause we’d love to bring shel­ter pups dur­ing adop­tion week­ends to this side of town,” she said. “We are a part of the Curry Ford West district, so we would ide­ally love to stay here but that would need to be a con­ver­sa­tion once the pop-up ends.”

Sam & Ge­orge Cof­fee

Co. is open 7 a.m.-6 p.m. Mon­dayFri­day; 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Satur­day and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday through July 18 at 2850 Curry Ford Road in Or­lando. Dogs are wel­come. Find more in­for­ma­tion

at samand­ge­

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