Children’s Books at Pacifier. Photos by TJ Turner.
When it opened in 2004, Pacifier was one of the first locally owned alternatives to big-box baby stores—and certainly the hippest, with a product selection that eschewed the traditional pink-and-blue color scheme and cutesy aesthetic in favor of more modern styles. Since then, it’s opened three more stores, and most recently, relocated its Northeast flagship to the bustling North Loop district.
Over the years, husband-and-wife owners Jon and Wing Witthuhn have fine-tuned their product offerings while staying up to date with the latest trends in baby gear, thanks in large part to feedback from their loyal customer base. “We do all the research and we pick the top two or three products,” explains Wing. “It’s not like going to Babies R Us and being faced with a whole wall of baby bottles.”
The new space is more than three times larger than Pacifier’s other storefronts, which allowed the Witthuhns to incorporate a large play area with a wooden playhouse, plenty of seating, and a kitchen complete with complimentary coffee for parents and snacks for kids.
The couple has long dreamt of having a larger, more accessible space for education and play, including kid’s yoga, doula chats, and etiquette classes, plus cricket feedings for Ella Lizgerald, the resident bearded dragon lizard.
“We want to be a resource and community for parents when they need some time for themselves and to recharge,” says Wing. “Many times when I was home with my son Nico, I just needed a place where I could go to take a break for myself, and I didn’t want it to be McDonald’s. It’s what I’ve always dreamed of wanting Pacifier to be.”
And to lure minivan-driving, stroller-toting parents to its urban location, Pacifier offers its customers free parking in the nearby Monte Carlo parking lot.
Pacifier North Loop, 219 N. Second St. #102, Minneapolis, 612-623-8123, pacifier.me