General Store Smokes the Competition with New Offerings

The Greene-based family business adds new options for customers.


If you live in the more central areas of Coventry, where there are countless convenience stores, drug stores and markets, you may have never heard of Summit General Store before. But for those living out in Western Coventry, Greene and along Victory Highway, the store, located at 25 Old Summit Road has been a staple since 1969.

Summit General is a family owned and operated business that prides itself on being "Rhode Island's Only Real General Store" and offers its clients farm supplies, pet food, groceries, charcoal and barbecue supplies as well as fresh deli products and prepared foods.

To set itself apart from other businesses selling similar goods, Summit has recently begun selling smoked St. Louis Style pork ribs on Saturdays.

The ribs are smoked right at the store in a large smoker emblazoned with the Summit name that was handcrafted and donated to the Skaling family that has owned the store for more than 40 years, by several long-time customers and friends.(Along with being generous, the Coventry residents are humble as well, wishing to remain anonymous.)

"We just wanted to help the store bring in some more people and offer something that people really enjoy but wouldn't usually do at home," said one of the donors.

A $20 order consists of a full rack of smoked ribs (real smoke, not a flavored rub), a container of homemade baked beans and a small loaf of homemade corn bread.

Customers can call the store at least a day in advance at 397-3366 to pre-order their meals or they can test their luck and purchase them on Saturdays around 4 p.m., but be aware, the goods have sold out both weekends so far.

Aside from ribs, other smoked goods will be made available from time to time including both sweet and hot sausage as well as ham.

Matt Skaling, a third-generation owner of the Summit General Store explained that he is also planning on renting the smoker on the premesis for $100 per day if the customer supplies their own wood or $120 with wood included.

"We think that the Masons and Elks Lodges might be interested in this because it is a unique service that isn't offered anywhere else in the area," he said.

Starting this Friday, Skaling also plans to sell Brew Horizons home beer brewing and wine making kits - another distinct offering for the area.

For store hours and contact information, visit Summit's website at www.summitgeneralstore.com.

Editor's Note: The people at Summit sent a meal of ribs, beans and corn bread home with me, which I shared with some of the pickiest carnivores I know. The verdict: they knocked these ribs out of the park!

donna r March 15, 2012 at 11:17 PM
Summit needs to sell liquor! Greene folks have to drive 25 min. to get to Rt. 3 or cross the border into CT just to purchse beer.
Coventry Jane March 16, 2012 at 03:03 AM
What the hell. A story goes up about how a local business is offering something new to their clients and instead of going "wow, good for them, that's great!" or just shutting your mouth, you have to comment on something they don't have. Please. It's not like a liquor license is free or cheap for that matter. I'm sure most of the people in Greene leave their homes at some point during the week...plan a trip to the package store then. While you're doing that, I'm going to go get some ribs!
Kim March 16, 2012 at 12:37 PM
Now Donna can get herself a beer making kit by Brew Horizons at Summit and not drive all that long way to Rt. 3! :-) Grab some ribs and help keep our General Store from disappearing!
mad hatter March 16, 2012 at 01:10 PM
i remember going there as a kid and getting penny candy. old mr. skalin would always stuff an extra handfull in there for me.
Jeremy Skaling March 16, 2012 at 10:51 PM
Nice job Matt (or should I say Mark)! Is the smoker available for tailgate parties in the fall? The MA SkalinG may need to rent it.


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