‘Thank you for being our friends. It’s been amazing.’
The Back Porch closes after 15 years of treating customers like family
By Matthieu Vollmer
MARSHFIELD — The Back Porch, a renowned home décor, antiques, and primitives shop, closed on March 31, 2015, after nearly 15 years in business.
“I’ve shopped here since they opened. I like that they are always so welcoming. They practically give you a hug when you walk in the door,” said Judy Papke of Pittsville. She added that the community will miss the store and its owners.
The Back Porch, owned and operated by sisters Susie Judge and Joanie Leick, opened on July 5, 2000. They were long-time members of the Marshfield Area Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Main Street Marshfield.
“We’ve always made the customers No. 1 and kept things affordable for families. That has always been our goal. Anyone could walk through the door and buy just about anything,” said Judge.
During the sisters’ interview with Hub City Times, they carried a dresser up from the basement for a customer, and patrons stopped in to say goodbye. They exchanged hugs and kind words. They truly treated each customer like a family member. “How’s your momma?” Judge asked one customer. “I love your hair,” said Leick to another.
In preparation for closing, The Back Porch offered a 30 percent storewide discount and a 50 percent discount on Christmas and fall merchandise.
“The hardest part is saying goodbye to friends,” said Judge.
Leick and her sister are stepping away from the business to care for their mother, and they said they have a potential buyer for the store. However, if the transaction is not completed, they will have a major blowout sale after the close date.
Over the last 15 years, the two sisters have been through it all. They said that their store experienced two fires and five floods since they opened.
“You could come in anytime, and it was always so warm and welcoming,” said Papke.
Top selling items included greens, lamps, pictures, furniture, and other accessories. Other merchandise included wine racks, mirrors, clocks, scents, wire baskets, canvases, and more.
When asked what she would say to the community upon leaving her business, Judge said, “We just want to thank everyone. It’s been a wonderful walk with everyone who has come through the doors. We will miss them all. Thank you for being so supportive of Joanie and I. Thank you for being our friends. It’s been amazing.”