THE PICKWICK PHARMACY ANNOUNCES PLANS TO BRING BACK SODA FOUNTAIN, ADD DRIVE THRU, AND KEEP THE 60-YEARS OLD BUSINESS IN THE FAMILY.
The Pickwick Pharmacy will remain a local, family-owned business, served by a third-generation of Odoms, and will incorporate a 1949 soda fountain and sandwich shop within a few months.
February 8, 2007 (Greenville, SC) – The Pickwick Pharmacy announced today that it is expanding its business and service offerings by bringing back the soda fountain that was a local fixture in the 1940s and 50s and is also adding a drive thru, among other things. The Pickwick Pharmacy has a long history with the Greenville community and is one of the few locally-owned, non-chain pharmacies that remain in SC.
The Pickwick is celebrating its 60th year in business in Greenville and has been serving the local community since before World War II. They were originally located on Augusta Road near Main Street in the current Warehouse Theatre space. Many of their patrons were Furman University students who visited the Pickwick for sandwiches, shakes, and elixirs, as the university was located just a block away in the area that is now County Square.
After World War II, The Pickwick relocated to the other end of Augusta Road where it remains today. The Pickwick has always been a family run and family owned business by the Odom family. Pharmacist and owner, Dwight Odom, recently announced to its customers that the pharmacy will remain in the family. Chad and Kelly Odom, two of Dwight Odom's sons, will be the third generation of Odoms to service customers at The Pickwick.
Dwight Odom said, "I grew up in The Pickwick as did my children. The unique part about this is that our customers also grew up in The Pickwick as did their children and their children's children. The Pickwick is truly a locally-owned business, and we're all one, big, extended family."
Local architect firm Pazdan-Smith Group has developed the architectural renderings and has designed the space inside The Pickwick that will house the new soda shop and drive thru. The soda shop will seat approximately 50 people at counter seating and booths, and the menu will be typical of the lunch menu from 1940s – simple sandwiches heated on a griddle, shakes and malts, root beer floats, fresh-squeezed orangeade and lemonade, hotdogs and chilidogs, 30 flavors of ice cream, and cherry and vanilla cokes served from a 1949 soda fountain.
The soda fountain will be the actual fountain from the old Carpenter Bros. soda shop which closed on Main Street several years ago. It is a stainless steel and marble soda fountain with ice cream freezers and original soda pulls. It is being restored by American Soda Fountain out of Chicago, a company that has been in the soda fountain business for 90 years. The stainless steel fountain is reminiscent of The Pickwick old soda fountain, where as teens, Dwight Odom and his brother Robert served as soda jerks.
Soda fountains located inside Greenville pharmacies were the norm up until the 1980s, where they gradually began to change ownership and slowly phase out. With this said, many folks in Greenville grew up spending time in these soda shops and have vivid memories from places such as The Pickwick and other city drugstores such as Lewis Plaza Pharmacy, Woolworth on Main St, and Campbells Pharmacy which are now closed. The Pickwick hopes to breathe life into those memories and bring the soda fountain tradition back to Greenville.
Coy Huffman III, a local resident who remembers growing up with The Pickwick, remarked, "The Pickwick brings back fond memories for me. As a child, several times a week, I would scour the neighborhood on my bike for discarded Pepsi-Cola and Coca-Cola bottles. Once I had a basket full, I'd return them for a few pennies each and have enough money to splurge for ice cream or a cherry coke at The Pickwick soda fountain. I am looking forward to reviving this tradition and being a regular at The Pickwick soda fountain."
Construction at The Pickwick will begin in January and the plan is to finish renovations in April 2007. The pharmacy and drugstore will remain open during construction. The Odoms plan to have a community-wide open house and 60th anniversary celebration once construction is finished, complete with a display of cars and other nostalgia from the 1940s. For more information or to be added to the open house or newsletter mailing list, contact The Pickwick at 864.277.4180.
About The Pickwick Pharmacy
The Pickwick Pharmacy is a local, family-owned drugstore that is celebrating its 60th year in the prescription business. Its customers reside in Greenville County and see The Pickwick staff as an extended family. The employees are knowledgeable, responsive, and have been with the pharmacy for a combined 133 years and have personal relationships with the customers and their families. In addition to boasting fast, no-wait prescription service, The Pickwick offers delivery service, complimentary gift wrapping, and a focus on the schools and community. The business is locally run and owned by a third generation of Odoms, a family born and raised in the city of Greenville.
The Pickwick Pharmacy is located at 3219 Augusta Street and will soon boast an old-timey soda fountain – similar to the one The Pickwick boasted in the 1940s and 50s. For more information, contact The Pickwick at 864.277.4180.
NOTE TO MEDIA: The Pickwick has customers who are available to speak about their memories of The Pickwick soda fountain and the tradition of the pharmacy with their families. In addition, The Pickwick also has architectural renderings and several historic photos that may be of interest to the media, and interviews with the Odom family may be arranged as well.