Owner says coworking a new concept to Farmington

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FARMINGTON — Downtown Farmington is getting a coworking space in the form of a new local business and venue.

North Allen Coworking and Venue at 206 N. Allen St. will celebrate its grand opening from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday. Melissa Porch, who owns the business, said coworking is a concept that’s “very popular and very trendy in cities” that she hopes can serve the Four Corners region well.

“Coworking is a new concept to Farmington,” Porch said. “But it’s really efficient for people with at-home businesses or entrepreneurs of any kind, consultants, writers, freelancers, any of the above that don’t necessarily need any overhead. Working at home is great, but it’s also very difficult, so this space is going to be open and fluid. People can come and get some focused work done or they can meet a client.”

The business features space for members to meet or work independently in a focused environment with a flexible schedule. Porch said the business will offer full-time and part-time memberships, as well as daily drop-in rates that are open to the public.

“When we hit a point where we have to have set days (for coworking members to use the space based on availability) we’ll move there, but for now, it’s really totally flexible,” Porch said. “The flexibility is key. I wanted that to be part of how people use it."

Some dedicated desks will be available for members who need a consistent space, Porch said.

North Allen Coworking and Venue also will serve as a conference center that Porch said is “like a boutique-version of a conference space.” The venue’s conference room can accommodate up to a dozen people, and the venue as a whole can also be used as an evening and weekend event space.

Porch said the business idea was inspired, in part, by the Believe Give Network Facebook group that she created in 2015 as a networking group and resource for “women-driven businesses” in the Four Corners.

“What we do (with the BGN group) is so powerful, and it really is kind of the same thing as a coworking community, so I’ve always had (having a physical space) as part of the vision, but when this building became available, I was like, ‘It has to happen. I have to take this opportunity right now,’” Porch said.

Porch’s business is located at the former home of the Busy Bee art, craft and yoga studio, which closed last month after one of the owners moved out of town, according to a Facebook post.

Porch said because potential clients “almost do need to come in here and see it and experience it,” the venue will also have an open house during the Downtown Stroll and Art Walk on April 13. Porch is also offering free day passes for coworking so interested members of the public can come tour the space.

Megan Petersen covers business and education for The Daily Times. Reach her at 505-564-4621 or mpetersen@daily-times.com.

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