Nov. 11—TRAVERSE CITY — The owner of the downtown coffee shop Morsels was arrested on multiple felony counts following a lengthy investigation, Traverse City Police Department officials reported Friday.
Ed Witkowski, 49, from Traverse City, first purchased the business from its previous owners in 2021.
Law enforcement declined to release or confirm his name until after he had been arraigned and had his charges read to him. But, based on property records, jail records and court records, the Record-Eagle was able to confirm that Witkowski is the man in question.
The arrest comes after TCPD detectives executed two search warrants at Witkowski's home and business last month.
According to a release from the department, they first investigated Witkowski for a month-and-a-half for "illegal surveillance activities." Department officials declined to comment on what exactly those activities were, citing the pending court case and investigation.
Chief Matthew Richmond confirmed at the time the search warrants were executed that, on Oct. 27, his officers gathered evidence from both the coffee shop and the North Oak Street home.
The Grand Traverse County Prosecutor's Office authorized an arrest warrant for Witkowski on three felony counts: using a computer to commit a crime, capturing/distributing images of an unclothed person and lying to a police officer. He was then arrested at his home on North Oak Street at approximately 8 p.m. Thursday, according to police reports.
"The suspect was lodged at the Grand Traverse County Jail without incident," the TCPD release said. "The case remains open pending additional investigation."
This morning, 86th District Court records indicated that Witkowski had two additional counts of capturing/distributing an image of an unclothed person added to his list of charges, making a total of five felony counts against him.
The Traverse City courthouse was closed Friday for Veterans Day, so it is unclear when Witkowski would be arraigned.
Prior to moving to Northern Michigan, Witkowski lived in Lewes, Delaware, where he managed a Home Depot. He also lived in Wisconsin.
His wife has written three leadership books, "Leading from the Front," "Spark," and "Bet on You," and hosts her own podcast, which shares the same name as her third book.
In a June 12 episode, she interviewed Ed Witkowski about what it was like to be a small business owner.
"There is a loud voice for probably every business downtown. And it's not from the business owners," he said on the show. "It's from the people who want to influence what the business owners do."
She asked him what he does when he's faced with unsolicited advice.
"I do not listen to it," he replied. "For the folks that offer the unsolicited advice, my advice back to them is take your own advice and go do it at your place."
He went on to share that he didn't have a passion for coffee or for baking prior to acquiring Morsels, but he did have a passion for making money and being successful. "I know I can take this and make it better," he said on the show.
Police confirmed they have no other suspects in this case at this time.
The charges Witkowski is facing are punishable by more than 30 years in prison, based on state statute guidelines. He remains in custody at the Grand Traverse County Jail, awaiting his first court date.
Morsels was open for regular hours of business on Friday.
This article was updated on Nov. 11 to reflect that only Ed Witkowski lived in Lewes, Delaware and Wisconsin prior to moving to Traverse City.
Record-Eagle reporter Ted Wendling contributed reporting to this article.