That Old Pharmacy Feel: Our Store's Story
Posted on January 26 2021
There’s an old saying that goes “location, location, location.” While I’m not sure exactly what the original quote was referring to, it’s safe to say that location can be everything. No matter what you are doing or who you are with, it’s the location that truly makes the experience.
This old adage rings true in most areas, but especially in regard to retail. Even if a store is selling the most miraculous product ever, customers will not want to go too far out of their way to shop. Similarly, if the environment and aura of the store is stilted, the same thing will happen.
As such, we were thrilled when we found a space for the Farmer & Chemist store on 7719 S Main Street, in Midvale, Utah. Not only was this location perfect for our vision, but it had a welcoming aura and fascinating history that perfectly blended old pharmacy with new CBD. Because, as it turns out, our store used to be a corner pharmacy itself.
So, I sat down with Doug Burgoyne, PharmD and co-owner of Farmer & Chemist, to discuss the story of our location. What followed was an interesting conversation about corner pharmacies, scraping old carpet off by hand, and just how we managed to find such a great location.
First, tell me a little bit about the history of the store!
Well, we know that in the 40s it was a pharmacy, so that immediately attracted us. We thought, “Oh man, how could it get any better? An old pharmacy is perfect!” Well, shortly after we opened we found out a little more of the history, and that is that the pharmacy was run by the Morley family in the 40s. Up the street, just east of the store, there is a barbecue called Joe Morley’s Barbeque, and there's a relationship between the Morley that ran Midvale City Drug, where we’re located, and that barbecue.
So, there's a rich Midvale history with our store. In fact, our first couple of months after we opened, a lot of the neighbors came in to look at it. One of the things that they really admired was the floor, and they said that it brought back tons of memories for them. That tile floor is the original from the pharmacy days in the 1940s. And so, you know, some of our new neighbors would come in and say, “Oh, I remember this, and this floor! That’s where the pharmacist was and that is where the ice cream counter was.” And that was really fun to hear about because we wanted to restore the feeling of a familiar corner pharmacy. And we succeeded, based on what the neighbors told us.
What about Farmer & Chemist’s history with the store? How did you find such a great location?
So, in June or July 2019, we were looking for a place to set up retail. CBD has a lot of requirements, meaning state restrictions and municipality restrictions, on where it can be located. It can't be within 600 feet of a park or a public place or a church. We were having to be really cautious. That was the first battle.
The second battle was finding a location with a landlord that was willing to lease to a CBD company. Think about it—summer of 2019, cannabis was still not available in the state. It had just passed the legislature three months earlier, and there were a lot of questions about it. And there still are! So, we had to find a location where people would lease to us as well.
Then, Jason Dunn, a member of the Farmer & Chemist team, was driving in Midvale one day and saw this building--7719 S Main St. in Midvale. An old, brick building right on the corner. He checked it out and took some photos, and we thought it looked pretty cool!
Midvale seems like a great place to have a store.
It is! The great thing about Midvale City is their committal to revitalizing Main Street. You can see all the changes that have happened at the north end of the street are slowly working their way west. Actually, not even slowly! We’ve been there a year and there have been a lot of changes on Main Street in the last year.
We're excited about the new businesses that are coming, and the retail opportunities. Midvale City has updated the parking, paved the road, and made Main Street a more welcoming part of Midvale.
In fact, Midvale City has been really good to work with! In order for us to put our signs up on the building, we had to get permits from Midvale City. One of the signs that we have on the corner, which pokes out like an old pharmacy sign right above the doorway, was not the usual sign that you see in Midvale. Most signs are flat up against the building, but at Farmer & Chemist we might do something a little bit different. And they were really good to work with us and get it approved.
You know, one of the other nice things about the building is that it generates half of its own power. There are solar panels up on the roof, and we’re glad that we can lower our carbon footprint just a little bit by having the solar panels up there.
There was a lot of restoration work you had to do. Tell me about that.
Jason and Cami, who are in the store almost every day, really did all the work. They removed the carpet and cleaned the floor—literally scraped it by hand, inch by inch, using a razor blade. They built walls, added a fresh coat of paint. You know you name it, they did it. They did just a great job! I mean Jason and Cami worked day and night to get it ready.
We really wanted to keep that Farmer & Chemist feel, so making an old apothecary feel modern. The windows were great, and the floor was great, as they let in a lot of natural light and helped the store feel open and welcoming. Then Danell Murdock, our creative director, went antiquing and found a lot of the furniture and other aspects that really brought the space together. And that’s the story of our store!
Blending the old and new.
As you can see, a lot of thought went into the location and feel of the Farmer & Chemist store. Similarly, a lot of thought goes into our products, ensuring they provide the maximum level of relief and relaxation.
If you’re interested in trying out CBD or would simply like to venture down memory lane and reminisce about your old, neighborhood pharmacy, come visit us at 7719 S Main St. in Midvale. Our on-staff pharmacists and pharmacy technicians are all to happy to answer any and every question you may have.
If you’re more into the modern world, you can also give us a follow on Facebook and Instagram (@farmer_and_chemist), to keep up with everything Farmer & Chemist, and everything CBD.