Focus On: Symons General Store

WRITER | CANDIE CONAT
PHOTOS | SYMONS GENERAL STORE

In June 1956, in one of the oldest brick structures in Petoskey, Symons General Store first opened their doors. Although the building had no plumbing or electricity, Tom Symons held a vision in his head; he was sure he could bring the old building to life. After months of hard work renovating the building and adding a wine cellar, Symons General Store was officially opened. His forward-thinking ideas soon had him stocking rare items from distributors like the famous S.S. Pierce and Haddon House, importing gourmet products directly to the front steps of the store. In the late 1970s, Symon’s wife Lynne began creating gourmet baked goods in the store. Her freshly baked croissants, bread, and cookies were a hit. Soon after, she added delicious sandwiches made with Usinger’s Meats of Milwaukee. It was the first time Symons General Store offered freshly made ready-to-eat foods for its customers, and those customers voted with their wallets and their stomachs – it was a great success.

Focus On: Symons General Store - Michigan Home and LifestyleHis forward-thinking ideas soon had him stocking rare items from distributors like the famous S.S. Pierce and Haddon House, importing gourmet products directly to the front steps of the store. In the late 1970s, Symon’s wife Lynne began creating gourmet baked goods in the store. Her freshly baked croissants, bread, and cookies were a hit. Soon after, she added delicious sandwiches made with Usinger’s Meats of Milwaukee. It was the first time Symons General Store offered freshly made ready-to-eat foods for its customers, and those customers voted with their wallets and their stomachs – it was a great success.

Symons takes great pride in making sure that all products are only the finest, made with ingredients they would feed to their own family. Items are personally selected by the staff, from a variety of homemade pasta, sauces, olive oils, and vinegar straight from Italy to gourmet flavored peanuts shipped in from Virginia that come in flavors like Hot Southern Jalapeno and Smokehouse Bacon & Cheddar to pure vanilla extracts from Madagascar and the most incredible pancake mixes you have ever tasted. There are also more flavors of tea than you could begin to imagine. For those who like it REALLY HOT, be sure to stop in and pick up a jar of the newest addition, Ghost Pepper Salsa by Stonewall. Grab a bite for lunch or take dinner home to the family. I hear the 5 Dragon sandwich is to die for. Stacked up with corned beef, Swiss cheese, and spicy slaw on rye, served with a Thai dipping sauce, it’s one of their most popular selections.

The cheese case at Symons is a cheese lover’s dream! With over 50 varieties of imported and domestic cheeses, employees are happy to answer any questions and offer samples to help you find your favorite. After you choose your favorite, head down to the wine cellar and take a gander at the impressive collection of over 5,000 wines from all around the globe. Join the staff every Saturday in the wine cellar to enjoy a flight of wine, including the featured wine of the week paired with specialty food, cheeses, and chocolate.

Outside of the amazing food products, you will find many unique gift items, including a wide array of kitchen essentials, handmade soaps, lotions, and candles.

The Symons’ son, Chandler, grew up in the store and followed in his parents’ food-loving footsteps. He has joined the team and has expanded the Symons tradition to three additional locations. First with Chandler’s – A Restaurant, in 1999, then with Pierson’s in 2003, and now the newly added Mitchell Street Pub in downtown Petoskey.

Tom Symons’ legacy of providing the very best in food, drink, and personal customer service lives on at all of the Symons family locations.

Symons General Store 401 E. Lake Street, Petoskey MI 49770 l (231) 347-2438 l SymonsGeneralStore.com

2018-02-08T16:23:03+00:00 Categories: Focus On, Northern Michigan|Tags: , , |