Uptown Hearth is baking the world a better place from a shared community shop in Columbia Falls.
By Jane Ellen Sexton. Photograph by Mandy Mohler of Field Guide Designs.
You know those little gems that you find in the world? Those places that you just have to go back to? In my humble opinion, that’s Uptown Hearth. Owner and creator Terri Feury has formulated a lovely neighborhood space to meet and start your day off on the right foot. It’s the perfect spot to grab a gorgeous baked goodie to sit and inhale or take with you. It doesn’t get much better.
Terri has been at the “bench,” kneading for we who need, for many years. She was born in Whitefish, lived in Columbia Falls, but grew up in Oregon. She went to Paris in the 1980s as a foreign exchange student while still in high school. She was able to work with three different teachers in Avignon, France. Being exposed to learning the classical pastry way brought about the “aha moment.” Terri was hooked! She came back to Whitefish in 1984. It was time to begin the process of mastering the art of pastry. A skill not for the faint of heart, it takes years to get there.
Terri made bagels for Montana Coffee Traders when she started out in Whitefish – a whopping 30 each week. She also worked in the kitchen as a prep cook at the golf course in Whitefish, learning the food business as she went along. She worked her way up until she was confident enough to open her own shop. Today, her small-batch approach to making beautiful, tasteful breads and pastries keeps her business going full tilt.
She bought the building in Columbia Falls for Uptown Hearth in 2011 and set up the kitchen to make the bread that she sold out of her “little bakery.” The next step was to expand to the bakery to include other businesses and an expanded menu. In 2016, Uptown Hearth opened as a divine spot for the public to come enjoy baked goods, breakfast, brunch, and coffee drinks.
The sense of quality and excellence are first obvious when you step into Uptown Hearth’s location. It’s very inviting and beautiful, and the intimacy allows for true connection to your neighbor. It is a great meeting place.
Terri’s mission for Uptown Hearth is to give back to the community wherever and whenever they can. To that end, there are multiple other businesses that utilize the location Terri owns. Uptown Hearth is called a Microbakery, Food Studio, and Gathering Space Rental. It’s open Tuesdays through Sundays. On Tuesday, Kendra of Meadowlark Bakery bakes her glorious bread. Azul Coffee Bar, owned by Matthew, is open Wednesday through Sunday. The Finn Biscuit, run by Terri and Jane, offers European and American classic breakfast pastries, hearth breads, and afternoon treats available Wednesday through Friday. Heidi and Catherine run the front of house and make sandwiches and savory items. Johnny handles brunch on Saturday and Sunday. Brunch is so worth experiencing. You’ll be happy!
Terri also supports as many local products as possible. Kalispell Kreamery, Wicked Good Produce, Moss Farms, Snow Country Farms, Steep’s Tea, Waxwing Coffee, Black Coffee, and Spirit Work Farms are the go-tos for dairy, produce, fruit, coffee, tea, and eggs. Uptown Hearth composts as much as they can and like many of us, they look forward to a zero-waste system.
Terri absolutely thinks “community” in a big way and it’s clear that’s been her focus from day one. When you’re inclined to “do work that counts,” people feel it. She and Andy, her husband, continue to give support to the world they’ve chosen to live in. Food this good can be hard to find and our community reaps the benefits of Terri and her teams’ hard work. Wow, did we score!
Uptown Hearth is in Columbia Falls at 619 Nucleus Avenue. Call them at (406) 897-5555 or visit www.uptownhearth.com for a full list of hours for each business.
About the Author: Jane Ellen Sexton lives in Kalispell and works as an intuitive life coach and personal chef.