Downtown developments highlighted in Rogers City

News Photo by Caitlynn Shadbolt A new candy store called Woodland Confectionary is expected to open early next year. It is one of four new businesses that will, or have, opened.

ROGERS CITY– The business landscape in downtown Rogers City is going to be changing significantly in the coming weeks and months, as four new businesses are slated to open.

During Friday’s Team Rogers City meeting, the four development projects were highlighted and more details about them, and their owners, were announced.

The Brook

The new assisted care home, The Brook, which recently opened was the first to be discussed. Business Manager Morgan Hall talked about how there are 26 apartments in the facility, and what amenities the facility has. She said there is a salon, community dining room, and an activity room for residents. Hall went on to add that a partnership with Rogers City Home Furnishing has led to a pair of units being staged with furniture so people who tour the home, and considering moving there, can see what the small apartments can look like once everything is in place.

Hall went on to add that the business will also be able to offer a COVID-19 vaccine when it arrives, to those who live there, which, she said will improve the quality of life to the seniors, who are at the greatest risk of serious health issues from the disease, and most often isolated from loved ones.

“This will offer them more freedom and not to have to be in quarantine,” Hall said. “It gives them the freedom to go out, visit with their families, and enjoy more freedoms than what they are now.”

Hall said the facility has also opened up some of its units to people who want to live there, but don’t need the assistance services.



Kathrine Wilbur and her family visited Rogers City for the first time during its Nautical Festival, fell in love with the small town and decided to move to it. She is in the process of opening the Woodland Confectionary, which will be a candy store that will showcase local flavors, inspiration, and ingredients.

She said some of the goodies will have hints of maple, apples, and locally brewed beer. Of course, she said there will be homemade chocolate.

Wilbur said the store is across from the post office, and her hope was to have it open this month or next, but the COVID-19 pandemic will likely push the grand opening back until early next year.

Still, she said, she is excited to open the store and share her products with the people of Rogers City and beyond.

“Every cute, small town deserves a cute candy store,” Wilbur said. “It is just something that brings so much happiness to both the people who live there, and people who come and visit. Nobody is ever angry or sad in a candy store.”

Harborside Bath & Body

The idea for this new business was born when owner Hayley Mertz Rose visited a Bath and Body Works-type store in Traverse City. She said while at the business, it dawned on her that there is no local business in the city that offers organic, all-natural skin care, candles, and other bath and body products. She said the store should be open full-time in early 2021, but some of her products are available in the Northern Espresso shop downtown.

Rose said once open, if things are going as well as she hopes, organic make-up, jewelry, and spa items like robes and slippers will be in stock.

“It will be like a gift store, and a bath and body store,” she said.

The Mayberry

Nicole and Michael Winarski have purchased the historic property downtown where A.J. Super Service has been for more than a generation. They intend to transform the former car dealership, into a wedding and event venue right in the heart of downtown.

Michael Winarski said they intend to utilize the current building, but to have it gutted and totally redone to create an elegant reception space for people to rent. He said demolition of the interior will begin in the spring and he hopes a brunt of the work can be done and the business opened by next summer.

“We’re still in the planning phase and seeing what our direction will be, but from the first day we laid eyes on it, our vision was to kind of restore it and to open it all up to make a big cathedral feel when you walk in. We will keep the classic colors on the exteriors because we love the old structure.”

The meeting was held via Zoom because of the gathering restriction set by the State of Michigan. Rogers City Mayor Scott McLennan moderated the meetings.


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