Retailer Smitten Kitten Honored

Tod Hunter
MINNEAPOLIS — Adult boutique retailer The Smitten Kitten has been given the Business of the Year award by the Twin Cities Quorum at its Third Annual Quorum Community Leadership Awards.

"It's really nice to get recognition for the work that we do," Smitten Kitten Business Manager Clare Jacky told XBIZ. "We tend to think of ourselves as not just a retail establishment, but as a community space, an organization that tries to do a lot of outreach to the community. It's nice to be recognized for that."

The Smitten Kitten calls itself "an open and inclusive retail environment, staffed by trained employees, where customers can explore sex and sexuality in an affirming, sex positive manner."

The store does community outreach education in local universities, nonprofits, and other small businesses, and contributes money and product to queer, womanist, feminist, and environmentally centric organizations. Co-founder and owner Jennifer Pritchett is the co-founder of the organization the Coalition Against Toxic Toys, which raises awareness and promotes education around safer-sex toy choices in the mostly unregulated sex toy industry.

Twin Cities Quorum is the St. Paul-based gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and allied chamber of commerce that was organized "to foster leadership for economic activity and to develop a positive environment for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and allied businesses, organizations, individuals and consumers."

The award ceremony will be held on March 14. A portion of the night’s proceeds will be donated to the Quorum Scholarship Fund, which provides scholarships to selected students who demonstrate entrepreneurial spirit and a dedication to work for equality.