Old Mission General Store – Traverse City, Michigan - Gastro Obscura

Old Mission General Store

Easily overlooked in favor of the wineries that dot the region, this blast from the past is equally worth the visit.  

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The Old Mission General Store is a wonderful throwback to stores common during the 1800s. They were the architectural and functional successors to the old trading posts of the American frontier.  

Opening more than 160 years ago, this humble building is much more than a convenient place to stop for a cold soda and a quick bite to eat. The store is a historical treasure, as it’s the oldest post office in one place and in one room in the state of  Michigan. It’s also the first retail general store between Fort Wayne and Mackinaw.

Come hungry, because the store offers a variety of delicious deli sandwiches, hand-dipped ice creams, and homemade cookies. If you’ve already filled up on wine, cheese, and baguettes from vineyard-hopping along the peninsula, then settle for an iconic pickle-on-a-stick. Or perhaps nibble on some penny candies while perusing the store’s impressive antique collection.

As you browse, you’ll hear the old wooden door creak open, admitting both locals and tourists who are on a mission to buy bait for a round of fishing in the Grand Traverse Bay. The entire experience and feelings invoked are testaments to the power of cultural memory. The Old Mission General Store creates an overwhelming nostalgia for a time long forgotten. 

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