Charlevoix Main Street (CMS) sat down with Harbor View Cafe owner Chuck Schilling to talk about the town's go-to breakfast spot! Read on to learn more about the cafe's story.
Also, during the month of January Harbor View Cafe is offering up a deal for Life in Charlevoix mobile app users! Download the app today and check the "Specials" section to find out how you can save.
CMS:Tell me a little bit about your business.
Chuck: The Harbor View Cafe location has been serving the Charlevoix Community for more than 50 years, as a restaurant. From Kings (depicted on our whiteboard) to Oma’s to the Harbor View Cafe, the location has been serving Downtown Charlevoix. We serve Breakfast and Lunch daily from 7:00am-2:00pm with daily specials, homemade breads, Chili and soups, along with our famous Skillets and Breakfast Burritos.
CMS: What precautions are you taking to protect your employees and customers from Covid-19?
Chuck: All of our Team Members follow MHHS and CDC guidelines by wearing masks and social distancing. We have also added a UV Light filter which has shown to be 90 % effective in eliminating viruses.
CMS: How have you had to shift your business model in response to the pandemic?
Chuck: During the first shutdown, we installed several new hand sanitizer stations in the dining room and kitchen. In order to maintain social distancing, we made the emergency exit the main exit to enable separate entrance and exit, along with the installation of an additional POS terminal located on the opposite end of the dining room. During the Summer our landlord, Oleson’s, offered us the first 2 parking spaces in order to expand outside seating. The outside dining, utilizing this space, worked out extremely well for us and we expect to do the same going forward.
CMS: Why did you want to be a small business owner?
Chuck: We have a few small businesses and chose to purchase the Harbor View Cafe in order to diversify, have some income into retirement and have some fun. Also, we knew the Downtown Charlevoix has been a successful location.
CMS: Why did you choose to open a business downtown Charlevoix?
While everyone knows the three most important things in business are: location, location, location, we knew this was a viable business that needed a little “shot in the arm”...no pun intended.
CMS: What do you enjoy most about living and working in the Charlevoix area?
Chuck: Certainly, the community! Our regulars, retirees and local business people, are wonderful to each other and to our employees. They are the best!
CMS: What is something unique about your store/business?
Chuck: All of our artwork was designed and purchased from local artist Edith Pair. We couldn’t be more pleased with the results of the artwork as the local Charlevoix sites depicted are colorful, happy and fun! They are just perfect and we love seeing the looks on peoples’ faces as they look and actually touch the large paintings with the thick epoxy resin that makes them come to life.
CMS: How would you describe downtown Charlevoix?
Chuck: Downtown Charlevoix is a “Hallmark movie set” downtown where business owners all know and support each other. Where couples walk down the street hand in hand enjoying the restaurants, shops and spectacular views in every direction, day or night.
CMS: How has Main Street helped your business?
Chuck: We have taken advantage of the Main Street marketing opportunities every year. This matching program is a valuable way to advertise our business with internet, print and billboard advertising targeted to bring people into Downtown Charlevoix, which is good for all businesses within the downtown.
CMS: What’s your favorite thing about your business?
Chuck: Our favorite thing about our business are the people. Our Team Members, our Customers and our Community.
CMS: What’s your favorite Charlevoix event?
Chuck: Our favorite Charlevoix event is the annual Venetian Festival! Venetian is a complete week long bash where locals and vacationers alike come together to celebrate living. Never disappoints, while 2020 was cancelled, we look forward to a bigger and better Venetian in 2021!
CMS: Is there anything else you would like to add?
Chuck: We would like to thank the community for your unwavering and ongoing support for our businesses and our Team Members! Thank you!