LITCHFIELD — Kitchenworks, a landmark Litchfield shopping destination, is celebrating 40 years in business this month, having first opened its doors in May 1979. Originally located in the Cobble Court, the store moved to its current location off the Litchfield Green in May 1997.
Current owner, Litchfield native Liz Eriksen, bought the business on Halloween in 2008.
“My background is in retail. I was managing a Talbots at the time and also had my real-estate license. When I saw the listing become available, I decided to look into it further,” she explained.
“I love the creativity of it,” Eriksen said. Her beautiful displays featuring antique appliances and shabby-chic furniture create a homey atmosphere.
The meticulously curated store hosts a variety of items for sale. From toasters to tablecloths, crockpots to candles, the store stocks kitchenware of all kinds.
“We sell lots of dishtowels,” said veteran employee Cindy Barrett, who has worked at Kitchenworks since 1998. “Women are crazy about dishtowels — you can never have enough!”
“We carry a lot of gadgets, too” Eriksen said. Shoppers will find tools to assist with almost every conceivable kitchen task. “Citrus squeezers, herb keepers, spiralizers and toast tongs are a few of the popular ones.”
Eriksen also offers eco-friendly goods, such as reusable silicone food storage bags, bees wax wraps and stainless steel drinking straws, among others, for those who are environmentally conscious and want to reduce their carbon footprint.
In addition to kitchenware, the store also carries lifestyle items, like luxury soaps and lotions and leather purses.
“I like to change up what we offer in the store,” Eriksen explained. “I regularly attend trade shows to find unique and different items. You never know what new thing you’ll discover when you come in.”
Both locals and visitors shop at Kitchenworks, and even a few celebrities stop in on occasion. “We’ve had Ina Garten of Barefoot Contessa, and some British actors, too,” said Barrett.
“What I love is when people come in looking for a specific item, and they need it now because they are in the middle of cooking,” said Marcey Hladick, another veteran employee of 10 years. “It’s wonderful to be able to help them find exactly what they need.”
Many of Erikson’s customers make Kitchenworks a regular stop when ever they are in town. “I can’t tell you how many times people come in and tell me how much they love the store and how they make it a point to come in whenever they are visiting the area,” said Cindy
Eriksen also enjoys being part of the community through her store. “We open the doors and pass out candy to trick-or-treaters every Halloween,” she said. “We are also partnered with FISH (Friends in Service to Humanity), a social services organization located in Torrington,” Eriksen explained.
Customers can drop off used kitchen items in good condition to Kitchenworks to be donated to FISH and receive a 20 percent discount on their purchase in return. This promotion will run throughout the month of June. “In our modern era of online shopping, it is a privilege to still be in business and supported by loyal customers,” Eriksen summed up.
Kitchenworks is located at 23 West St, and is open 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.