New cat-themed store opens in downtown Schenectady

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SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The Spicy Purrito, a cat-themed shop, has opened at 34 Jay Street. Owner Tonya Hall expanded into the new storefront after growing a strong customer base at a space she leased inside The Schenectady Trading Company on Union Street.

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“After 40+ years, my grandmother and mother still make sure to give me cat-themed birthday cards, which I treasure,” said Hall. “Although I have always been creative and artsy, I stumbled upon sewing in college. After many years of practice, I became a fairly decent quilter. An entrepreneur at heart, I spent a few years trying to figure out how I can marry my love of fabric with my love of cats and, lo and behold, The Spicy Purrito was born!”

  • Schenectady City Councilmember Doreen Ditoro, NYS Senator Jim Tedisco, DSIC Executive Director Jim Salengo, The Spicy Purrito owner Tonya Hall and stepson, Schenectady Mayor Gary McCarthy, Mia Comenzo from the Office of NYS Assemblymember Angelo Santabarbara (Downtown Schenectady Improvement Corporation)
  • Spicy-Purrito-3Toys at The Spicy Purrito (Downtown Schenectady Improvement Corporation)
  • Spicy-Purrito-2-1Toys at The Spicy Purrito (Downtown Schenectady Improvement Corporation)

Hall started the business in March 2017. Her products include catnip toys, which she makes by hand. After selling her products for two years at craft fairs, Hall asked the owner of The Schenectady Trading Company about selling some of her products there.

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Hall said she will continue her full-time job at the New York State Lottery while owning The Spicy Purrito. The shop is currently open on weekends from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and by appointment. The shop will also be open during some downtown Schenectady special events.

“Despite my shop being a ‘side gig,’ I can promise I put 110% of my heart into this business,” said Hall. “Owning a shop has been a dream of mine for a long time, and I decided life is too short to wait. I meet so many wonderful people who share stories about their kitties. I’m honored to have you entrust me with entertaining your felines.”

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