I’m not one to go shopping. My wife likes to gather groceries and finds my involvement more annoying than helpful. I rarely go online, and I’ve never been in or dropped a dime in a Walmart. I try to make an impact on my local economy by supporting local businesses whenever possible and I ask my clients to do the same. During my college days, I discovered Jolley’s Drug where I filled my prescriptions. Back then, they were known as Jolley’s Rexall Drug and located in the 9th and 9th neighborhood. It was the first pharmacy that customized compound (hand-mixed and blended) medications in probably 100 years in Salt Lake. In 1991, the Jolley brothers opened a store on 1300 South and 1700 East. Then in 1996, the 9th and 9th pharmacy closed and moved to the 1700 East location where they ran a pharmacy and a Top Hat Video rental store (think VHS tapes). The video store died as tapes went by the way of the dodo but both pharmacy locations (the other at 1100 East and 1700 South) have become beacons of their neighborhoods for not just meds but cute tchotchkes. Often, my only gift shopping comes from this small pharmacy.I’m a super loyal shopper and one of the main reasons I support this family-owned store is because during the AIDS crisis, they were the only folks who treated my friends who carried the disease with kindness. The chain grocery store around the corner made my friends put on masks and would not even shake their hands. Jolley’s people were understanding and went overboard to find the best bargains on the first drugs available to help those suffering.As I picked up my script the other day from Dean at the 1700 South store, bought a greeting card, got a question answered from Hanna and was rung up by acerbically funny Beth, I was grateful that a local store still doing well—and not being bulldozed by developers. Across the street is the original Westminster College gymnasium, then later, the Salt Lake Costume Co. It’s been gutted and turned into high-end apartments, but just like Jolley’s, there’s a bit of nostalgia still in the signage there. The original Salt Lake Costume Co. sign lives on and has been restored and replaced to light up the corner across from the drug store.Sometimes, you read about it or talk with your friends about how you hate the fact your favorite little store or bodega closed, or bemoan the loss of a cute building or sign. Salt Lake City updated sign codes in 2018 to save historic and iconic signage around the city. Stop in at Jolley’s at 1100 East and 1700 South and shop and check out the sign across the street. Or check out their location on 1300 South and 1700 East and the Emigration Market sign across the way.
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