—By Evan Vickers.
Bulloch Drug has been an integral part of historic downtown Main Street in Cedar City since the 1930s, and ever since, has served as a key gathering place for our community and visitors to Cedar City. Bulloch Drug started out as Thornton Drug and then changed to its current name in the 1950’s when it was purchased by the Bulloch family. My family purchased the drug store in 1996, which includes me, my wife Chris, and our five children, Charmayne, Robbie, Martene, Aleana and Jessica. Prior to our purchasing Bulloch Drug, I worked as a pharmacist for Albertson’s grocery store on the south end of town, while Chris, and a close friend of hers Suzi Shakespear, created and ran The Wood ‘N Lace Place, a women’s boutique located only a few blocks away from Bulloch Drug. Chris and Suzi started their business with the idea of providing jobs for their daughters. After Chris and I purchased Bulloch Drug, Chris bought out Suzi and we moved The Wood ‘N Lace Boutique next door to Bulloch Drug, eventually taking out the adjoining wall and combining the stores.
When we first purchased Bulloch Drug, we really wanted to capture the wonderful nostalgia of growing up in small-town southern Utah, by bringing back an old ice cream soda fountain and counter. It was definitely easier said than done. I had a real struggle trying to find an authentic, stainless steel soda fountain until I finally located a company in Chicago called the American Soda Fountain Company, which bought old fountains and refurbished them. The authentic stainless steel soda fountain we use right now inside Bulloch Drug is a 1942 Bastian Blessing soda fountain. We hired a local cabinet maker to create an old-fashioned counter around the soda fountain, and one particularly fun fact you’ll need to watch for when you come in next time: look for the panels of Italian tile on the counter. Those panels actually came off of a 1950s soda fountain drug store counter from Idaho, whose owner was none other than the father of Fred Adams. Fred is the local founder of the Tony Award-winning Utah Shakespeare Festival held here in Cedar City and is a treasured member of our community. We also purchased a replica Wurlitzer Jukebox, which is like the 1950s jukeboxes, except ours plays CDs instead of 45s.
Over the years we have done significant remodeling to the building, inside and out, to create an enjoyable aesthetic and wonderful customer experience. We expanded the Bulloch Drug family to include Township Pharmacy, located across from Cedar City Hospital in 2003. Kyle Rowley is the pharmacist that runs that store for us. Downtown, we expanded to create Comforts of Home, a home décor store, and now, our newest addition, The Stork on Main, a children’s boutique. Chris is extremely talented and has a wonderful eye for what our customers would love, and so has kept the inventory and offerings in our stores modern, unique and exceptional. She and her staff work very hard to keep the stores stocked with attractive merchandise at a price point that people can afford, as well as creating truly beautiful merchandise displays, including our famous window displays. On the outside, it looks like there are four separate stores, but internally we operate them as one.
Without question, the most rewarding aspect of owning our own businesses has been the opportunity to work with our children side-by-side over the years. All five have worked in the stores, and all five became pharmacy technicians while they were working on their college degrees. Two of our children, Robbie and Martene, are current pharmacists in our drug store and are poised to take over the operation when Chris and I decide it’s time to retire.
While we have loved getting to have a family business, we have a great deal of civic pride and have very much enjoyed developing our downtown area, by championing and preserving the unique charm and history of old Main Street in Cedar City throughout our buildings. Be sure to browse through Bulloch Drug and look for the historic pictures of Main Street of years gone by throughout our décor, and as our aisle markers. Some of them feature interesting history and facts that take you back to a wonderful time in our past and help preserve the rich history of not just the buildings we’re in, but of our cherished Cedar City.
We take great pride in providing first-class customer service in all of our stores, as our motto is always: “Give our customers more service than they expect.” Stop in, and you’ll see why we can say that you’ll get the finest customer service anywhere when you are with us in one of our stores. We have worked extremely hard to be able to create the best shopping experience for you, with knowledgeable, helpful associates, pharmacists who know you and will take the time to answer any questions you might have and help you and really care about you, we want to make it so easy and helpful we even feature free gift wrapping in our stores.
As you can tell, the Vickers family is very proud to have cultivated and grown our family of businesses and we each look forward to being able to serve this wonderful area for a long time to come.