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Here Provo builds community with new store in downtown Provo

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Here Provo owners Scott Campbell, left, and Jed Platt seek to offer a gathering place and sense of home with Here Provo, their new gift shop that opens Thursday, June 30, on Center Street in Provo. (Photo by Christa Woodall)

Here Provo owners Scott Campbell, left, and Jed Platt seek to offer a gathering place and sense of home with their new gift shop that opens Thursday, June 30, on Center Street in Provo. (Photo by Christa Woodall)

If you go…

When: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday beginning Thursday, June 30
Where: Here Provo, 26 W. Center St., Provo
Cost: FREE
Website: Instagram.com/here_provo
Vendor Application: hereprovo.com

Downtown Provo has come back to life in recent years as the heart and center of Utah Valley. With new restaurants and recreational opportunities constantly popping up, the bustling city center area always has something going on.

But what it’s lacked, in the eyes of Provo resident Jed Platt, is a “third place” — that spot where people gather outside of home and work. That’s a niche Platt and business partner Scott Campbell hope to fill with Here Provo, their shop that will open its doors Thursday on Provo’s Center Street.

Here Provo is a 2,000 square-foot home and gift shop that features the creations of more than 50 local artisans and crafters, selling everything from stationery and artwork to furniture, pottery, fresh flowers and more — items that will come in handy for gift shopping, home decorating or browsing on a date-night stroll.

These 18-inch fox dolls are among the numerous gifts available at Here Provo, a new home and gift shop opening on Center Street Thursday, June 30. (Photo courtesy of Here Provo)

These 18-inch fox dolls are among the numerous gifts available at Here Provo, a new home and gift shop opening on Center Street Thursday, June 30. (Photo courtesy Here Provo)

More than a store, however, Platt said he wants to create a hub for the community he calls home. Beyond providing a storefront for creatives with local ties to sell their handiworks, Platt said he plans to initiate events that foster a sense of community and involve other businesses in the downtown area. Ideas so far include scavenger hunts and a Center Street plein air art competition and gallery show.

Although the sense of community in downtown Provo — and particularly among the area’s creatives — continues to grow stronger, the constant flux of residents in a college town can pose problems for a sense of permanence. Platt said that his ward has such a high turnover, for instance, it’s like being in a new ward every year.

“The challenge is, how do you create a sense of community when it’s so transient and the players always change?” Platt said.

Platt said he hopes to solve that problem by giving people a place where they feel at home in the heart of the city center area, and where visitors — especially those who once had Provo ties — can take a piece of Provo home with them through curated, unique goods.

Yarn bowls made by Melware Ceramics make a knitter's life easier. They're among the gifts available at Here Provo, which opens Thursday, June 30, in downtown Provo. (Photo courtesy of Here Provo)

Yarn bowls made by Melware Ceramics make a knitter’s life easier. They’re among the gifts available at Here Provo, which opens Thursday, June 30, in downtown Provo. (Photo courtesy Here Provo)

The shop’s second-story loft, which features a view of the Provo City Center Temple, will be an open space for friends to gather and visit. When not in use for special events, such as take-and-make classes like calligraphy and screen printing taught by their vendors, Platt and Campbell said the 15-foot-by-20-foot space will be open for community use for book clubs, student art shows or simply a spot for friends to gather and visit.

Helping build community is nothing new for Platt. He converted a chapel in Ogden Valley into a cabin that became the heart of the small community, and he helped reshape Banker’s Row in Ogden from a slum into an idyllic, family-friendly neighborhood.

“People need a place to gather, and that’s not always the church building,” Platt said. “We’re open to learning what the community wants and needs and then finding a way to create that and add to what’s already here in the area.”

 

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One Response to "Here Provo builds community with new store in downtown Provo"

  1. Steve Boyack says:

    If he can get rid of the Nu Skin eyesore that would do more to make downtown Provo a nice place to visit. Nothing has ruined Provo more than those ugly buildings that destroyed downtown Provo’s character. They belong in an industrial park area like Microfocus (Novell). Provo officials must have been paid off to allow such a travesty.

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