Interview with Kathryn Loo (Trinku Kuromi Meido)
Kathryn Loo (Trinku) is the creator and manager of the ‘At Your Service Cafe’, Arizona’s only traditional full service maid and butler cafe. ‘At Your Service Cafe’ serves the cosplay and Japanese culture community at local conventions including Phoenix Comicon and Con-nichiwa. The cafe includes a full staff of maids and butlers that serve, dance, sing, and play games with convention guests.
Kathryn, it is a pleasure to meet you. Can you tell us a little about how your ‘At Your Service Cafe’ came into being?
I started going to conventions in 2006. I started by liking the darker side of Japanese culture with Jrock, Gothic Lolita, and manga/animes based on darker stories and rock. Eventually though cute things like romance storylines, dancing youtube lolitas, and MOE characters took over my life. On a quest to get as cute as I could I found the maids of Akihabara. Wanting to become a maid myself I joined Cafe Moe which was the second cafe to pop up in Arizona. It’s reign soon ended though and I got the chance to run a cafe for Phoenix Comicon 2010. We started out rough but have grown so much as a group and the cafe is a wonderful experience to be part of. We have since gotten 5 conventions under our belt, many small events, and a YouTube channel full of cute videos. 2012 is going to be an amazing year for us.
For our readers who may not know, can you tell us what a Maid Cafe is?
A maid cafe is a pop culture phenomena from Japan. Mainly the Akihabara district of Tokyo. Otakus (obsessive hobbiests or what you would call nerds here in America) flock to these cafes to be waited on my cute girls in maid uniforms who call you master, play games with you, feed you, and talk about similar nerdy interests. It’s popular because these boys who normally wouldn’t have a way with girls are getting to meet ones who are fully interested in them and have the same hobbies but without the need for emotional attachment or sexual awkwardness. Girls love it cause they are stepping into a world of all things cute and frilly. It’s a clean experience with nothing sexual about it though it can be confused to outsiders.
What can one expect when going to a Maid Cafe?
Expect to be called master, milady, or even Princess. We play fast paced children’s games with you, decorate your food, and preform cute dances to popular Japanese and Korean songs. It’s a very interactive environment so expect to be called up on stage or participate in the events.
Do you travel to conventions or do you have a fixed location?
We travel around to local conventions. I drove all the way to LA once for a cafe event but mostly we stay in Arizona. I would love to open a brick and mortar location one day but it’s all about picking a location and getting the funds.
How many maids and butlers do you have on staff and how are they trained?
We have 31 on staff but I would say only about 20 are really active and 10 are completely obsessed and dedicated like I am. We train them by making them sit through my Maid Cafes 101 panel, watching lots of videos, asking questions, and basically just hanging out and getting to know each other so that we are all comfortable and able to work well without feeling shy or embarrassed.
How important is it to cater to the clients and what are some of the requests that are made?
Since it is a maid cafe it is very important to wait on them in a very formal and servant like way. It’s ok to have fun and goof off but I always stress that we need to remember that they are king in our eyes and they need to be happy and feel like royalty. We have lots of requests for photos and every once in a wile someone will ask for contact information. We have a rule against asking for a Maids information but if it happens and the Maid wants to we do not stop her.
Were you interested in Japanese culture before starting in your business?
Yes I was. I went to school for a degree in Fashion Design and Merchandising. I hope to one day start my own Japanese Fashion inspired clothing line with a heavily cosplay and maid influenced look. I have been watching Anime since I was a little girl and been in love with Japanese Street Fashion since High School.
Do you also Cosplay?
A little here and there. My first cosplay was Sailor Mercury in Jr High. I was also Chocola from SugarSugarRune to my first convention in 2006. I have been the Cheshire Cat and Mio from K-on as well. But, I prefer to mostly sport lolita.
You once said about yourself, “I won’t say anything silly about myself. I am just odd!”. What makes you say you are odd?
I am odd cause I am obsessed with a mix of Morbid and Cute things. I was a Goth as a teenager and now I wear things covered in jewels and cupcakes. I always change my look up form day to day. I think about things in awkward ways which leads to me embarrassing myself a lot. But, I love my outlook on life and am happy I got called Star Girl in school. I always loved that book. I feel like I am the odd one like Luna Lovegood.
Where do you hope to be in 5 years from now both personally and professionally?
Hopefully not in Arizona. It’s hot and besides the amazing conventions is a very conservative and boring state. I want to travel the world and meet people while writing on my adventures and bringing new cultures two those who are stuck in boring places like I have been. I want to inspire people and spread my love for cultures around the world.
Where can we find out more information about you and the Cafe?
You can check out our FB page at
or you can check out my website at