Shopping Happenings September 2006
Dave Corners the Market
on the Friendly Neighborhood Store
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.
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 Moabites
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 inventory.
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.
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
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 encounter.
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.
Dave’s Corner Market is located on 4th East and MillCreek
Drive and can be reached at 259-6999.
When you stop by, tell them you read about it in Moab Happenings!