when folks convened at a tacitly agreed upon store, not
so much to purchase its wares, but mostly to converse and
catch up on local gossip. When you walked in, you were greeted
with a personal “hello, how’s Marge” or
“Hey, how’s the Chevy running now?” Even
if you were born post ‘50’s, your mind can conjure
up this image of idyllic neighborliness because that type
of general store atmosphere has been immortalized by the
media in shows like Andy Griffith’s where the barbershop
served as Mayberry Central.
Dave Sakrison, mayor of Moab and owner of Dave‘s Corner
Market, grew up in Seattle with just such a store in his
neighborhood. This was his inspiration when establishing
his own version here back in 1984.
The Uranium boom had gone bust, but young Dave’s heart
was bursting. He had met Melody, the woman who has become
his wife and partner in the store, and he wanted to stay
in Moab. When he started to envision new enterprises, he
quickly settled upon opening his own neighborhood store.
Located on the corner of Millcreek Drive and 4th East, the
mini-mart is essentially located in the center of Moab.
Figuratively, it is located in the heart of the town, keeping
track of the community’s pulse as local news drifts
in and out.
The store’s history evokes small town life as it used
to house Doc Mayberry, the town’s doctor. Under Dave’s
ownership, the place has become a landmark. I rarely give
directions to my home on the east side of town without saying,
“Know where Dave’s is?” Invariably, all
On a cursory glance, the store resembles a typical mini-mart.
The merchandise includes the regular sundry items that customers
may have a quick need of: diapers, soda, Gatorade, ice cream
bars, newspapers, laundry detergent, toothpaste and so on.
Convenience to the customer is definitely the drive behind
The quick-stop items, however, belie the slow rhythm of
many of the patrons, especially of the extensive coffee
bar. Dave’s offers over 70 varieties of coffee from
a long list that includes African, South American, organic,
flavored and decaffeinated. A regular table and chairs invites
loitering on one end of the store while two tall coffee-bar
tables and chairs line the window on the other side, inviting
customers to people-watch.
One group who doesn’t pass up the invitation is a
group of regulars whom Amanda Domenick, the store clerk
and Dave’s cousin, affectionately dubs the “Ol’
Timers.” They’re men who’ve known Dave
and each other for many years and convene every day, rain
or shine, at two o’clock in the afternoon at the Corner
Market to drink coffee and catch up.
Outside, there are two stone and wood benches supporting
a variety of shell ashtrays. I have rarely passed these
benches in the morning and not seen them well-occupied.
Here local residents exchange the real news, the stuff none
of the newspapers sold next to the benches can really capture.
That Dave was drawn into local politics eighteen years ago,
serving on various boards including the city council, is
not surprising when the Corner Market gives him such intimate
access to the local residents’ thoughts and plans.
When Dave ran his mayoral campaign, he ubiquitously placed
life-sized cardboard reproductions of himself smiling and
drinking a cup of coffee around town. The Dave reproductions
(one of which still resides at the Market, greeting customers)
seemed like an appropriate representation of the man, since
Dave is easy to find and easy to talk to. He stays connected
with the people of Moab. He attributes this connection to
Dave’s Corner Market by explaining that “the
store gives me a good grounding to the community.”
the rainy morning I stopped in to take Dave’s photo,
a typical gathering of folks was convened at the store picking
up a hot drink before work. Some were sitting on the benches
outside despite the inclement weather. Inside, Dave was
busy making drinks. As one regular came in, Dave simply
reached into the fridge behind the coffee counter and pulled
out Chai and held it up. The man smiled and nodded and they
resumed talking about a topic obviously started on the previous
You know you’ve walked into the local general store
when the conversation between owner and customer centers
on each other’s lives, not the merchandise. That’s
what Dave’s is like.
Corner Market is located on 4th East and MillCreek Drive
and can be reached at 259-6999.