Keeping it Local: The Front Porch offers community events, Montana-made gifts

By 
Jaci Webb Of The Laurel Outlook
Thursday, December 9, 2021
Sarah Kuhr and Cheryl Hill co-own the Front Porch, a gift shop and events space in downtown Laurel.

Sarah Kuhr and Cheryl Hill co-own the Front Porch, a gift shop and events space in downtown Laurel.

Cheryl Hill shows a popular do-it-yourself bath fizzy at the Front Porch.

Cheryl Hill shows a popular do-it-yourself bath fizzy at the Front Porch.

It’s Friday afternoon and Sarah Kuhr, co-owner of the Front Porch, is excited about an afternoon event at the downtown retail store and event space, located at 109 W. 1st St. W.

A Laurel man booked the space to propose to his girlfriend. Kuhr has lined the floor with white rose petals and formed a heart out of red petals. It’s a first for the store and Kuhr is nervous, but not as nervous as the man doing the proposing so she wanted the setting to be perfect.

One of the small wooden signs she and co-owner Cheryl Hill make and sell for $8 at their store reads, “Be Happy.” It would be a fitting gift for the newly engaged couple.

Stocking stuffers and Montana-made items are on display throughout the store. There are photos of wildlife and Montana scenery, earrings and necklaces, hats and sweaters. The Christmas tree is filled with Montanathemed ornaments and other or

naments.

naments. One popular item this year is the do-it-yourself bath fizzy, which comes in fun shapes like dinosaurs that kids paint before they use in the bath. The fizzies sell for $16 and include paints and a paintbrush.

The Front Porch moved to its present location between the Vue and Brew and Laurel City Hall in 2019 after Kuhr and Hill purchased the former Grace Bible Youth Center from the church. They originally opened the business in 2004 near High Plains Brewery. Since its inception, the Front Porch has brought together community members and businesses.

“We love working business to business. Our heart is working with the other businesses and bringing people together,” Kuhr said.

Kuhr and Hill helped organize the Fall Festival, featuring 58 vendors, eight food trucks, a cornhole tournament and activities for the kids. All the money raised at the event, set up to resemble the old Herbsfest, a long tradition in Laurel, went back into the community.

“People loved it and thanked us for bringing something back,” Kuhr said.

The Front Porch offers a community craft nights once a month in addition to community bingo nights, and sip and paint events. A Polar Express themed kids’ event set for Dec. 11 was already sold out, but Kuhr plans to add more sessions next December. A Ladies Night gift exchange in December already has 40 women signed up.

“All of our events are open to the public. Registration is required so we can keep our numbers in line with the fire code,” Kuhr said.

For history buffs, Kuhr pointed out the front windows which have been in place since the building was the old post office.

“I love the history of this place,” she said.

Hours are Tuesdays through Fridays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Front Porch is closed on Sundays and Mondays.

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