EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

October 17, 2013

Family sells landmark bike shop

H.R. Sawyer shop to reopen with new name, owner

By Mike LaBella

---- — HAVERHILL — For 40 years, the Migliori family ran a landmark business at the edge of Haverhill’s Riverside neighborhood.

Kids looking to buy a new or second-hand bicycle or get bike repairs would head in that direction to see the man they knew simply as Boris.

Boris Migliori retired from his H.R. Sawyer Schwinn Bicyclery shop six years ago, and since then his son Arthur has run the business.

But now the Migliori shop is no more.

The family has sold the property to Aaron Millett, who has operated his Riverside Cycle shop in Newburyport for more than 15 years.

The former Migliori property at the corner of Ginty Boulevard and Mill Street is receiving top-to-bottom renovations in preparation to reopen as Riverside Cycle.

Millett, who lives in Amesbury, said he will provide customers old and new with the same kind of friendly, courteous and professional sales and repair service the Migliori family gave Haverhill people for decades.

“We’re both independent bicycle retailers, so fundamentally it’s the same thing,” Millett said about the similarities between Migliori’s shop and the new shop.

By coincidence, Millett’s shop happens to carry the same name as the Riverside area of the city where he plans to open his new shop on or around Nov. 1.

Millett said he plans to carry a full range of bicycles, from children’s to adults’, as well as accessories and bicycling apparel.

“Apparel is a big part of an enthusiast’s interests,” he said.

“We hope to feature brands that Arthur carried and expand on that,” Millett said of Migliori. “We don’t want to become a boutique shop, but I’d like to offer more options for enthusiasts.”

Arthur Migliori said he’s getting close to retirement and wants to spend more time with his wife, so he decided to sell the business he’s been working at since graduating from Haverhill High School in 1970. As a child, he tinkered in the H.R. Sawyer Bicyclery that his father bought from Herbert Richard Sawyer in 1945. The purchase came after the elder Migliori returned from World War II, where he served as a tail gunner in a B-24 bomber.

“I plan to work at the new shop on a part-time basis doing a little bit of everything,’’ Arthur Migliori said.

Boris Migliori’s bicycle shop was originally located on Fleet Street, which was off downtown Merrimack Street where the parking deck is today. Fleet Street was discontinued during Urban Renewal of the late 1960s and early 1970s. The shop moved to 1 Ginty Boulevard in 1970.

Millett said the Haverhill location is perfect because it’s not too close to his shop in Newburyport, but it is closer to customers from the Andover and North Andover area as well as southern New Hampshire communities. He also likes the shop’s visibility and location at one of the city’s busiest intersections.

“It’s a great location ... an icon,” Millett said. “Everybody knows about this place. I even knew about it as a kid growing up in Hamilton.

“There’s an opportunity here to be part of the great energy that’s in Haverhill,” he said. “And it’s really great to have a building we can turn into a very nice shop.”

Once the renovations are completed, Millett plans to decorate with a little bit of Haverhill history by displaying old photographs, some of which Arthur Migliori will provide.

“There’s a lot of history here as the original store goes back to 1901,” Arthur Migliori said about the original H.R. Sawyer Bicycle Shop that was located downtown.

Along with bicycle sales and service, Millett said he plans to offer bicycle maintenance workshops in the winter, as well as host weekly road rides from spring to fall. He said his shop will also be involved in charitable causes, such as the annual Cycle for Shelter event, which raises money for Emmaus Inc. homeless shelters.

“We’ll have one or two key guys working here to get things rolling,’’ Millett said, “but I really want to be part of this community and need to have people from Haverhill working here.’’