Oak Harbor’s Midway Florist heads downtown

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What is Midway Boulevard’s loss is Pioneer Way’s gain.

After more than 35 years in its present location on Midway Blvd., Midway Florist will be moving to a new location on Pioneer Way.

Midway Florist owner Rob McGowen listens to a customer in his shop Tuesday. After 37 years, the store will be moving to a location in downtown Oak Harbor.

Midway Florist owner Rob McGowen listens to a customer in his shop Tuesday. After 37 years, the store will be moving to a location in downtown Oak Harbor.

“Our lease is ending and the owner wants to sell the building and will not extend the lease,” said Rob McGowen, who has owned the business for five years. The florist will now be located at the intersection of Midway and Pioneer, at 1090 SE Pioneer Way, Suite 101, next to Northwest Dental.

“We’re super excited,” he said. “We’ll miss our Midway neighbors but we’re looking forward to getting to know our new Pioneer neighbors. And people are looking forward to having us there.”

“All the merchants I have talked with are very happy to hear they are coming to Pioneer Way,” said Rhonda Severns, vice president of Oak Harbor’s interim Main Street Association committee. Her husband, mayor Bob Severns, is co-owner of the property the flower shop will be leasing.

“The location proximity to our marina and the many businesses along Pioneer Way should work great for all,” she continued. “Midway Florist is not just a florist shop. They sell many other gift items with an ambition to expand their inventory even more.”

That is exactly what McGowen hopes to do.

Midway Move 9 - Copy“We want to focus on more local and regional products,” he said. “We want to establish a little food and gourmet corner as quickly as we can.”

McGowen said the move also gives him a chance to update his decorating theme. He said he’ll probably go with more of a beach or seaside color scheme, since they will now have a view of Crescent Harbor. He plans to put a bistro table and chairs outside the new shop so if customers have to wait, they can enjoy the scenery.

The downside to moving is that McGowen will have to downsize.

Midway Move 11 - Copy“The new location is about a third smaller than this building,” he said. “But most of what we lose is in office and storage space. There’s a nice size showroom.”

But there is an upside to the smaller storefront. It will allow them to streamline the layout and efficiency of their processing, said McGowen.

“A lot of the layout of this building was done pre-computer,” he said. “We had to try to make our computers fit the space. Now we have a chance to configure the computers in a more efficient way.”

Midway Move 10 - CopyMcGowen has already started building shelving and counters for the new location. He plans to be out of the Midway Blvd. site March 31 and is running a moving sale until then to try to clear some of the gift inventory that will have to be moved. The store will be closed a few days, until reopening in the new location April 4. McGowen emphasized that all scheduled deliveries and orders during that time will be filled as usual.

So as one chapter closes, McGowen said he is looking forward to new adventures.

“I will miss the sense history that we have here, but at the same time, we’ll be making new history,” he said.

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4 Comments

  1. Really think having a florist downtown will be good for downtown, and good for Midway Florist. I’ve wanted to do business w/ Midway Florist but they were so far away from good transit connections…

  2. John B. Greet on

    A great new addition to the downtown. Midway is a long-standing business in Oak Harbor, a great community partner, and an amazing corporate citizen.

    This may signal the start of a full-strength transformation and much-needed revival along Pioneer!

    Best of luck, Midway Florist and owner Rob McGowen!

  3. Yes! Let’s grow our downtown. I love our Pioneer merchants. Midway Florist. .. best of luck to you. Here’s to new beginnings.

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