The general store is alive and well in Maine, where several of these community cornerstones have been updated by hardworking new owners. You’ll still find staples, like milk, bread and batteries, but also woodburning pizza ovens, homemade baked goods and sandwiches made with locally sourced ingredients.
98 Townhouse Rd., Whitefield | 207-549-5185 | sheepscotgeneral.com | $$
Taryn and Ben Marcus reopened what had been a natural food store in 2011 on the grounds of Uncas Farm. Equal parts market, cafe and community center, Sheepscot General offers everything from basic grocery items to artisanal cheeses and canning supplies. Among the breakfast items are a panini with egg frittata, bacon and cheddar with red pepper jelly; the sandwich selections include a grilled tempeh reuben and the kombucha is brewed in-house.
443 Hendricks Hill Rd., Southport | 207-633-6666 | southportgeneralstore.com | $$
The hub of Southport Island since 1882 is famous for its breakfast pizza, sandwiches and top-notch baked goods. Owners Oliver and Janet Cusano stock an impressive variety of grocery items and Oliver’s wine selection is especially noteworthy. Order a specialty sandwich like the Rowgatta (named for an annual Southport event) — roast beef, cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato, red onion and horseradish sauce on a crusty roll, which you can enjoy at one of a few tables, or, as many do, on nearby Hendrick’s Head beach.
405 Intervale Rd., New Gloucester | 207-926-4224 | ngvillagestore.com | $$
The quintessential Maine general store has been revitalized to offer first-rate pizza, sandwiches, omelets, salads, and baked goods, along with grocery items ordinary and gourmet. A small dining area is a charming spot to linger over coffee and a breakfast sandwich like the #2 – with pesto, tomato and fresh mozzarella, or at lunch time, the excellent homemade soups. The pizza, cooked in a wood-fired oven, is terrific, and the breads are all made on site.
255 Ocean Point Rd., East Boothbay | 207-633-7800 | ebgs.us | $$
More upscale than some older general stores, this charming place is a popular stop for both boat builders at the yards across the road and Ocean Point summer residents. There are a smattering of pantry staples, a large drinks cooler and a nice selection of Maine-made gifts, but it is the sandwich and pizza menu that is the primary draw. For breakfast, you’ll find an apple-brie-bacon wrap or Nutella and banana on toast. At lunchtime, the spicy Thai peanut wrap or massive Vinnie the Shipbuilder (ham, hard salami, fresh mozzarella, onion, tomato, red pepper flakes, oregano, mayo, extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar) is a fan favorite.
36 High St., Bath | 207-443-3300 | winnegancegeneralstore.com | $$
The 1902 building that once served Bath’s mill workers was considered one of Maine’s most endangered historic structures after it closed in 2009. Thanks to a recent renovation, it has been given a new lease on life, its character restored with salvaged materials from other old Maine buildings. Breakfast, lunch and supper are served at 8 tables in the front of the space, which offers peeks at the Kennebec River and Winnegance Lake. The menu consists of well-made classics, including a noteworthy seafood chowder.
The approximate cost of two dinner entrees (not including appetizers, drinks, tax and gratuity).
$ – $15 and under
$$ – $16 to $25
$$$ – $26 to $45
$$$$ – $46 and up