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VisitingNewEngland.com Dining Reviews >>>.H.B. Provisions, Kennebunk, Maine

H.B. Provisions, An Old-Time General Store in Kennebunk, Maine
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Image of H.B. Provisions General Store, Kennebunk, Maine
H.B. Provisions, Kennebunk, Maine (photo by Eric H.)

 

Article by Eric H.

H.B. Provisions in Lower Village, Kennebunk, Maine, is the "General" of general stores.


Located across the bridge from Kennebunkport, H.B. Provisions takes the general store concept and takes it into the 21st century without losing any of its traditional charm. You'll not only find groceries, locally-made ice cream, wine, beer, gifts and an ATM, but also a chef-run deli and a coffee bistro with some nice high table seating.

A terrific all-around store, the deli area really brings H.B. Provisions to a new dimension for the general store genre. After recently being one "steamed clam" having paid nearly $70 for a few average sandwiches, cups of soups, drinks and disinterested service at a nearby Kennebunkport restaurant, we opted the next day to visit H.B. Provisions in hopes of a better meal, friendlier atmosphere and bargain. It turns out that the lunch we ordered was about the best we can remember in recent memory. The chock-full-of-clams New England clam chowder and the  maple/bacon crab meat panini (a special of the day) were, quite simply, beyond tasty. Travis, the general manager, was exceptionally pleasant and personally delivered the meals to our dining table. Additionally, the cost was significantly less than what we experienced at the aforementioned, but not-to-be-named Kennebunkport restaurant.

Other offerings we look forward to trying in the future: lobster omelets, Belgian waffles with Maine blueberries, the flat bread pizza, lobster roll, Maine crab and cheddar melt, blueberry pie and Boston creme pie.

It's not just the food and pleasant staff that make H.B. Provisions so welcoming -- the look of the place is so inviting, too. In 2002, the owners brought back to life this 137-year-old building by rebranding it as a general store. Great move! The wooden floors, high ceilings and open, airy feel lend a "hometown USA" feel that is ultimately timeless. The exterior red awning and green trim looks like the general store version of a very big Christmas gift! And of course, the magical aromas of coffee and baked goods add an extra feeling of well being to this old-time building.

Additionally, 
we noticed photos on the wall of former U.S. President George W. Bush, Sr. (he owns a magnificent oceanside home in Kennebunkport), with some of the H.B. Provisions staff.  We hope that he has tried the maple/bacon crab meat panini (no need for concern, Mr. Bush, there's no broccoli with this meal!)

H.B. Provisions is a place where everyone seems to know each other with lots of customer/staff conversations and quick-but-sincere "hellos." Observing these wonderful interactions gave us a better appreciation of Kennebunk and Kennebunkport as we could sense, at H.B. Provisions, that these two communities are far beyond just tourist destinations.

Later that day while being stuck in Boston commuting traffic, I thought of our visits in Kennebunkport with the ocean and beautiful Dock Square, lobster dinners, our fantastic stays at the Rhumb Line Resort and the stately homes on tree-lined streets. It might seem a stretch to add H.B. Provisions to this "greatest hits of Kennebunkport list," but it's really not. After all, there is something memorable about a friendly store with good people and delicious food in a beloved travel destination.

H.B. Provisions
15 Western Ave.
Kennebunk, ME
Tel. (207) 967-5762

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