Photo L-R: Maggie, Tommy, Eddie and Greg Mielczarek.
From staff reports
Greg Mielczarek and his wife, Maggie, a Leland native, acquired the Harbor House Trading Co. from Richard Roberts on Feb. 1. The Mielczareks will officially re-open the iconic spot in the heart of the village on Feb. 24-26 for the Harbor House’s annual storewide sale, during which apparel, paddleboards and other products will be sold at discounts of 50–70%. Roberts will remain the owner of the building.
Roberts bought the Harbor House building in 2003 from the Haverberg family and has owned it and the business for 20 years. According to Roberts, the building was moved to its current location at the corner of Main St (M-22) and River St in the early 1900s, and was a popular dance hall, community gathering space, and general store.
“We were honored when Richard reached out to us in November,” said Greg. “He has leased the upstairs to Maggie for the interior design and custom fabric portion of her business (Leland Gal). At that point, he was able to see firsthand that we were good stewards for the historic building and Richard knew we were looking for a way to be more involved in our business community. When the opportunity presented itself, we jumped on it.”
Very little inside the Harbor House will change under the Mielczareks’ ownership. The popular store will keep the same layout, brand-name apparel, camping gear, toys and beach essentials. The nautical artwork on the walls will remain, as will the Moomer’s ice cream. (Harbor House serves more flavors of Moomer’s than the company’s flagship store near Traverse City does.)
“People associate the Harbor House with ice cream and the core memory of summer family vacations,” said Greg. “Richard has built something special here and we plan to keep the store as it has been, while making a few changes. It’s about continuing the legacy and providing a positive experience for everyone that will help the greater good of the community.”
The Mielczareks moved to Leland full time from Grand Rapids five years ago, after Maggie opened her textile design business. Leland Gal’s location on the other side of Main St will remain the same, with no plans to combine with the Harbor House.
Greg will share Harbor House general manager duties with employee Ana Holley, an outdoor aficionado who grew up camping in Leelanau County during the summers and moved here last May. Holley, who studied Environment and Natural Resources and Sustainability at the University of Wyoming, knows the store’s outdoor apparel brands and has worked in the retail sector since high school.