The Story Behind Popoki and Tea

Mara and Liberty
Mara and Liberty

Popoki and Tea’s founder and owner, Liberty Peralta, grew up around all kinds of animals on O‘ahu’s rural Wai‘anae Coast…except cats.

“My dad despised cats,” she says.

Community service projects and cat-loving friends led Liberty to open her home to her cat, Mara. Along the way, Liberty learned how cool cats are—and how many of them on O‘ahu need help finding loving homes.

She was inspired to open a cat cafe after visiting several on  the West Coast. With origins in Asia, cat cafes in the U.S. are a vehicle for socialization and adoption for rescue cats—and a new type of hangout spot for the community.

So far, Popoki and Tea’s monthly pop-ups have helped more than 60 rescue kittens and cats find loving homes.

In the process, she’s turned her dad, formerly the cat hater, into a cat lover. Through Popoki and Tea, she hopes to transform more lives: human and feline.

Liberty has over 10 years of experience in marketing and media in Hawai‘i, and is a proud graduate of Wai‘anae High School, Hawai‘i Pacific University and YWCA O‘ahu’s Launch My Business program.

More: Why Hawai‘i needs cat cafes