ELLSWORTH — Mike’s Country Store on Water Street, which has been in business for 122 years, is up for sale again for the second time since 1897.
Jeff Clark, who bought the property from proprietor Jody Colson in 2014, declined to answer questions about the sale, deferring to the listing with Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate/The Masiello Group (Clark is also an agent for the group and is showing the property).
The listing notes that the store has a number of “customers come in daily for groceries and take-out” and that the owners are “willing to stay on and work with the new owner until comfortable on their own.”
The 1,740-square-foot store is listed for $269,900. It sold for $135,000 in 2014 after originally being listed for $279,500.
According to previous reporting in The Ellsworth American, the store was opened in 1897 by the grandparents of Colson’s stepfather, Eddie Povich. The original Poviches, Mike and Fanny, both came to the United States from Russia in the late 1880s and settled in Maine after first living in the New York and New Jersey area.
A history of the store published on the occasion of its 100th anniversary in 1997 said Mike and Fanny followed family members to Bar Harbor but “decided to move back to New Jersey because they didn’t care for the area.”
“Fortunately, they didn’t make it very far,” the report read. “The Poviches ran out of money in Ellsworth, so they decided to settle here.”
Colson took the reins in 2008, giving it up in 2014 to spend more time with her family, according to reports in The American at the time. The store was closed briefly after that but reopened under new ownership.
The building was destroyed in the Great Fire of 1933, but the Povich family rebuilt and reopened it within two months. Shirley, the son of Mike and Fanny Povich, took over operations upon his father’s death in 1942. After a two-year hiatus to serve in World War II, Shirley (and his wife, Helen) continued to run the store until his death in 1981.
Shirley and Helen’s younger son Eddie then ran the store from 1981 until his death in 2008. It was then that Colson took over, she told The American, “in honor of my stepfather.”