CATSKILL — There’s a new store on Main Street. Some would say it’s the cat’s meow.
Featuring fashionable totes, quotable mugs, magnets and more, the Cat on the Corner has the purrrfect gift for the cat-lover in your life. The store also has a variety of cat toys and treats for your furry friend.
The store, at 362 Main St., had its first day of business on Saturday and will be open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday through Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sundays.
Owner Kira Goldfarb is a lifelong Catskill resident and a cat-mom to a quartet of furbabies: Monti, Lily, Dottie and Mishu.
“I love cats — I have 4 — and I’ve lived in Catskill my whole life, so I feel like I have a good handle on what people like to see in the village,” Goldfarb said. “And with the cat statues bringing more tourism here every summer, I thought a cat-centric shop would be a great little addition to Main Street.”
For the past 13 years, the Heart of Catskill Association has been displaying artistic cat creations throughout Catskill decorated by local artists. The cats are later sold at auction with the funds going toward improvements at Dutchman’s Landing.
Goldfarb, who formerly worked at the Candyman and has worked at the Community Theatre since age 17, has always dreamed of owning her own business.
“I really just wanted to bring something new and fun and special to Catskill,” Goldfarb said.
Saturday’s opening was a success, Goldfarb said, with more than 100 people in attendance. Village President Vincent Seeley, Village Trustee Joseph Kozloski, Greene County Legislator Matthew Luvera, R-Catskill, and local children’s author Hudson Talbott were in attendance.
“If you’re a cat lover, you won’t be able to leave there without buying something,” Talbott said. “What a perfect theme for Catskill.”
With sewing skills of her own that she has been flaunting on Etsy since 2015, Goldfarb will now have a new market for her handmade items, such as cat collars.
Much of Goldfarb’s merchandise is sourced from small independent shops, many owned by women, from across the globe including California, Texas, United Kingdom, Australia, Thailand and the Ukraine, she said.
“She loves cats so that was her major thing,” Catskill Local Development Corporation President Joseph Kozloski said of Goldfarb. “We take a chance helping out an entrepreneur and hopefully they will succeed. Our goal is to fill every storefront on Main Street and West Bridge Street.”
Talbott believes the store will be a hit.
“It’s a very charming store,” he said. “I think it’ll work. It’s definitely unique.”
Cat on the Corner is among the businesses to receive financial support from the village’s Local Development Corporation, Kozloski said.
Two ways the LDC supports local businesses is with small business loans or with Project 90, where the LDC pays for the business’s first three months of rent, he said.
“The first three months of opening is some of the worst months,” Kozloski said. “You don’t have the clientele coming into the shop until you build up that clientele.”
Goldfarb opened her store in the winter, Kozloski said, when people aren’t going to the shops as much.
The LDC helped the Cat on the Corner with its Project 90 program, Kozloski said.
Other businesses have applied for loans, which are paid back at 3% interest over three years, he said.
“Over the last year-and-a-half we’ve helped out quite a few businesses,” Kozloski said, naming HiLo, the New York Restaurant, Crossroads Brewery, The Juice Branch, Bittersweet Catskill and Mermaid Cafe.
The LDC also approved a loan to a kayak business that will be opening across from Mountain T-Shirts along the Catskill Creek later this year, Kozloski said.
The LDC has been giving out small business loans for about 10 years, Kozloski said, with Project 90 starting up about three years ago.
“We ask for a business plan,” Kozloski said. “If we deem it’s a viable fit for the village, we go ahead with a Project 90 or a loan.”
The LDC looks for businesses that will be great additions to the community, Talbott said.
“We’re happy to help them get their doors open.”