Pennington NJ- Our Business Staying Strong in 2023
How Our Store Came to Be…
Chris Murphy always had the dream of owning her own small business here, in Pennington. She graduated from West Virginia University, where she completed the Wharton Advanced Management Program. She rose the ranks at Johnson & Johnson, and achieved success in Corporate America, but she thought that the time was right to come home to Pennington after her son, Murph, was born. Chris made the executive decision to leave and start her new life where her roots began; Chris explains, “One of the reasons I decided to leave corporate America was to be involved in my son’s life and to be involved in the community.” This is how The Front Porch came to be when she bought the business from the previous owner back in 1997, and over almost 26 years of business, The Front Porch has become the perfect place to find that really special something for a friend, family member, or for yourself if you’re in need of some retail therapy!
Supporting Our School District and Next Generation
Not only does The Front Porch bring life to our town, we also strives to benefit our school districts. In 2012, we came up with “Turf Tuesday”, where a percentage of our sales would be donated towards building a new turf field. In total, The Front Porch contributed $25,000 toward HVCHS’s turf field, where we currently has their business logo displayed until they build begin building a new turf field. It would not have been possible without the leadership and generosity of the sponsors who worked to build the field after their days at work and into the night. Many people do not know what it took to build this beautiful field, and it would not have happened without the leadership of Sheryl Stone, Dr. Tom Smith, and Mike Ackerson.
Along with the rest of the country, The Front Porch was ordered to shut their doors for two weeks on March 16, 2020 in an effort to curb the novel coronavirus that struck the world fast and furiously. Quickly, we as a store had to make a choice. After we realized that this was going to last more than ‘two weeks’, we had to decide whether to close our doors forever or to adapt and find a new way of operating while we were closed. Listening to our customers, who suggested taking our brick and mortar platform online, we began to build a strong website and social media presence, showcasing videos and live streams on Instagram and Facebook. You can still catch our livestreams, entitled “Coffee with Chris”, every week- even three years later. Our livestreams are a fun and inclusive way for viewers and long-time customers to stay in the loop and be involved with our store.
During COVID-19 measures, we were still interacting and serving our customers through email, texting, over the phone orders, and even facetiming to help them in finding the perfect gifts for their friends and loved ones . Customers would call the store, say what they needed from what they saw on “Coffee with Chris,” we would wrap it, leave it, quite literally, on on our front porch for pick-up service, or we would ship it out. This tactic has seen great benefits even beyond the pandemic since our customers love seeing all the things we have to offer and are encouraged to come into the store and browse all of our new selections.The Front Porch has expanded to now offering Virtual Open Houses every few weeks, where around 3 different manufacturers are brought onto a panel to talk about their products and expand their brand awareness to new customers. To stay updated on our latest brands and offerings, you can follow us on instagram, @thefronporchnj, and on Facebook (The Front Porch).
Businesses Staying Strong in Pennington, New Jersey 2023
Last year, The Front Porch celebrated its 25th Anniversary, where we celebrated in person with our loyal customers and brand representatives with special raffles giveaways, anniversary discounts, and glasses of prosecco for those who came in to shop that day. This anniversary, unlike any other, was sentimental not just to celebrate the store, but to celebrate how The Front Porch, and Pennington, New Jersey were able to come out of the pandemic strong with both loyal and new supporters. The pandemic was a representation of how businesses must adapt quickly to an ever changing world, while still finding unique ways of delivering a quality service to customers.
Thank you to all of our new and longtime supporters, customers, and staff as we continue in 26 years of business- we wouldn’t be here without all of you!
The Front Porch