One of the great little places to pull over on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula — for a quick traditional Cornish pasty or an interesting conversation with the owners — is the Hog Island Country Store and Cottages. It is located about 30 minutes west of the Mackinac Bridge on U.S. 2 between the communities of Naubinway and Epoufette.
Back in 2010 we stepped into this small retro general store and met owners Sandy and Tom Jacobs. In addition to a store filled with nostalgic gifts, we found delicious, piping hot Cornish pasties.
A Cornish pasty is a type of pastry popular in the Upper Peninsula. When workers came from Cornwall, England, to work the iron mines, they brought along this hand-held meal. The filling is usually ground beef, vegetables and potatoes inside a baked flaky pastry crust.
Fast forward nine years, we were driving east along U.S. Hwy 2 heading toward the Mackinac Bridge and happened to spot the roadside store. We quickly put on the blinker and hoped for another incredible pasty. Amazingly, the Jacobs were still there.
About 17 years ago, Sandy, a former intensive care nurse and Tom, a retired Delphi Corp. worker, left Flint in Lower Michigan, bought the place, and re-invented themselves.
The Jacobs still love taking care of the place. There are also six neat clapboard cottages that have hosted families since the 1940s.
On the shore of Lake Michigan, weather permitting, Hog Island Country Store is usually open the end of May through mid-October.
— Photo and text: (Julianne G. Crane).