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Michigan Business Spotlight: The Corner Store in Harbor Beach

Looking at odd and interesting small businesses

By TestPublished 4 months ago 4 min read
Credit: Mike Busick - The Corner Store

Though I wasn't born there, I grew up in a small town in Michigan. Harbor Beach, as it may sound, is a beach town. It's a close-knit community ... You know, one of those places where everyone knows everything about everyone else.

The town has seen its ups and downs. Many of the shops that existed when I was a teenager are long gone. Some are not only closed but are torn down as well. Where the blue moccasins sign sits on the side of the image of The Corner Store in Harbor Beach above once stood some payphones!

The Corner Store

According to an article I found online, the building was erected in 1883 and first became a drug store in 1893 (1000 years before Chokuraa and I graduated from high school in Harbor Beach). Learn more about the origins from that article here:

In my years on this Earth, I've seen The Corner Store as a few entities, from a drug store to a variety store to what it is now. And, I've also seen it sit sad and empty. But that's no longer the case.

The Corner Drug Store today

Credit: Mike Busick - The Corner Store

The Corner Store still holds its same name, but it is now an interesting destination full of treasures, sure to offer something surprising and interesting for anyone who walks in the door.

It is run by Mike Busick, who opened the store up in August of 2020. He was no stranger to collecting and slinging used goods prior.

Mike said, "I have been buying, selling, trading as far back as I can remember. Until 1998, I had to work with local antique & record stores especially when it came to selling & trading, and I was also a picker for a local mid-century modern store. Then came eBay. I signed up for eBay in late 1997 and started selling there in early 1998."

Mike moved to Harbor Beach a couple of years before he was ready to open the doors of The Corner Store. While I don't know this, I am sure being the owner of a historical landmark in a town he wasn't from came with its challenges ... nonetheless, I also know the store is much loved (I travel 3+ hours there at least once a year)!

But what is The Corner Store now?

Mike said, "The Corner Store is, as I describe it, a vintage resale shop, focusing on books, records, CDs & collectibles, focusing on music entertainment with magazines, 100s of posters, but so much more."

Last year, Chokuraa and I scored some amazing occult books there!

Let's talk about the weird

As purveyors of oddities and curiosities ourselves, you know that Skulls & Cauldrons would want to know this ... so we asked Mike, what are some of the weirdest products you've had available?

"The craziest lot of stuff I got was when I was living in the LA area and Jerry Lewis' ex-wife donated a whole bunch of stuff to the local Salvation Army. I picked up a bunch of signed books, a signed Pro Bowl football, and other stuff, but the oddest was a copy of “Prize Pulitzer” written by Roxanne about her life and divorce from a Pulitzer ... It was inscribed to Jerry Lewis' ex-wife and dated when they both appeared on ‎Phil Donahue together on a show about being married to famous abusive husbands," he said.

Mike added, "The craziest thing was it included a letter Patty Lewis wrote, while on the plane, to a very famous tele-evangelist about how she was about to commit suicide until she watched his TV show."

It takes passion to run a small business

I was sure to ask Mike what he's most passionate about when it comes to what he does with The Corner Store. It takes a lot of drive to push through tough times and to do it all on your own.

He said, "So many things, but I guess I can boil it down to what a dear friend that ran an auction house told me, “Stick with what you like”... as Louis Armstrong said, “If it sounds good, it is good. If it doesn't sell, you still have something you like."

Itching to get your hands on some stuff?

If you're an online shopper, you can find plenty of collectibles from The Corner Store on eBay:

If you're in the mood for a road trip, head to 108 State St. , Harbor Beach, MI 48441


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