Hello Kitty opens first Canadian café in Vancouver

17 May 2024

Posted May 16, 2024 8:14 pm

Hello Kitty Cafe Vancouver - Figure 1
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Updated May 16, 2024 10:12 pm

2 min read

1:01 Canada’s first Hello Kitty Café prepares to open in Vancouver

A Hello Kitty-themed cafe is opening in Vancouver and Global News got a preview. The two-storey cafe on Robson Street celebrates the beloved pop culture icon with its decor and food.

One of the world’s most beloved pop culture icons has arrived in Vancouver, where she’s being celebrated at a new café and retail outlet.

The new Hello Kitty Café opens to the public on Friday and will be the first of its kind in Canada.

Hello Kitty Cafe Vancouver - Figure 2
Photo Globalnews.ca

“When we were looking to create a venue for the Hello Kitty Café experience in Canada, just look around, we have amazing Stanley Park with its picturesque views, we have the majestic English Bay, it’s surrounded by beauty and it’s something we couldn’t help launching it first here,” said Craig Takiguchi, chief operating officer of Sanrio, the company behind the Hello Kitty brand.

The colour pink dominates the two-story café, with giant pink bows on everything from the chairs to the sweets.

The menu will feature cakes, ice cream, hot drinks and iced teas, and fans will be able to buy a variety of merchandise featuring the iconic character.

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It’s also packed with multiple photo backdrops for the selfie-seeker.

Hello Kitty Cafe Vancouver - Figure 3
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Getting the business open took a year longer than originally planned, which Takiguchi chalked up to the Vancouver permitting process and a focus on “getting the brand right” for its first entry to Canada.

While the new café is launching in a tough economic climate, Takiguchi said the brand — which turns 50 in November — has never had a problem weathering the ups and downs of the market.

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Hello Kitty Cafe Vancouver - Figure 4
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“We like to say we are an affordable luxury for people — not everyone can afford to go to Disneyland … but I think everyone can really experience Hello Kitty here and really bring a little sunshine to everybody’s lives,” he said.

Hello Kitty, he said, has found success in creating products and experiences for people at every stage of their life.

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The character’s longevity has come, in part, from that life-long fandom getting passed on from parents to children, he said.

“I have never seen a brand that has a reach like this,” he said.

“We can be the number one brand in diapers and at the same time sell $50,000 Swarovski crystals. I think it goes to how we have been cultivating our relationship with the community over the years.”

While the new outlet on Robson Street will be the first in Canada, it won’t be the last.

The company is hoping to open a Hello Kitty Café in Toronto next, before moving into communities in between.

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