Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Main ST. Drug & Boutique is Community Proud.

Main ST. Drug & Boutique

140 S Main Street

Monticello, UT, 84535

Phone: 435-587-2302

Fax: 435-587-3441

Hours of Operation: Mon-Thurs.: 9:30a.m.-6p.m., Fri: 9:30a.m.-2p.m, Sat-Sun: Closed


“I am Grateful, Happy and Blessed, but most of all, I am Thankful, truly Thankful for all the support shown and given by the community.” ~~ Tim Young, Owner and Doctor of Pharmacy


Now while the quote would typically be the ending of this article, this beginning will best be understood by beginning at, what else, the beginning.

While the Great Depression wrecked financial havoc, there was one place to go, in Monticello, to help ease the stress for a short while.  This was The Oasis, a confectionery store owned by George “Uncle Mutt” Palmer and, brother-in-law, Claude “Hop” Foy.  It offered up scoops of creamy ice creams, cold soft drinks, sundaes with a multitude of toppings, and a variety of treats to satisfy the sweet tooth.  The back room of The Oasis became a gathering place for the local men to play cards.  George Palmer leased the building to J. Ward Palmer, and off to Provo he went to find a new fortune.  1936, Ward built The Little Theater, in the back half of The Oasis; it could seat 120 people.  What a way to spend a Friday or Saturday afternoon or evening; a movie, a cold drink and ice cream!

However, 1938, George returned to Monticello and wanted his business back; not much Ward could do to stop him.  1939, a building boon began in Monticello, and only one block south three new shops opened up, Palmer’s Confectionery, The Little Theater, and the Bailey and Wood Market.  The Oasis closed its doors, and that is where The Merc resides today.  Of course, the construction of the Monticello Millsite caused the building boon to go Boom!  More shops, and affordable housing, for the workers, who moved to Monticello, were built. 

March 2021

This has what to do with the pharmacy?  Now get yourself a cold drink, maybe some ice cream, and keep reading.  Main ST. Drug & Boutique is where Palmer’s Confectionery once conducted business.  The façade of the building has changed little, except the inclusion of a second floor.  To become the business it is today though, tragedy had to befall two residents of Blanding.

Jumping to 1960, the Pay Day Drug Store was purchased by Thomas Wesley Brockmeier, and his wife Emma Mae, originally from Springville, UT.  By 1965, the name had been changed to Leader Drug Store.  November 24, 1965, Thomas, with his son Tommy, was flying a Cessna 210, when it crashed near Payson, AZ; killing both.   In the spring of 1966, the business was sold to a pharmacist in Salt Lake City, Kirk Nielson.  Kirk, and wife Maxine, loaded up their seven children to make their home in Blanding, and become the community’s new pharmacist. In the same year, Kirk purchased the old Palmer’s Confectionery building; he named both businesses San Juan Pharmacy.  Eventually Kirk inspired three of his sons to also become pharmacists.  After the death of the family patriarch, the businesses were run by the sons.  Lee Nielson and his wife were there for 15 years, before selling it to Ken Nielson; who eventually sold the Monticello store to Tim Young, in 2007.

…and now for Tim Young’s story.  Born (1976), and raised, in Monticello, Tim did his undergraduate studies at State University of Utah, Cedar City.  Now Tim had dabbled in various types of work, but what did he truly want to do as a life goal?  He had to make a checklist, and see what industry fit into his plans.  First, it had to be a skill that could be useful anywhere; being useful was a very important factor.  Since Tim wanted to return to Monticello, it also had to be a skill that would fit into, not just a small town scenario, but the region as a whole.  Attending Idaho State University, he found his interest to be geared towards Organic Chemistry, but what field would that lead him to?  Research?  Doctor of some specialty?  After speaking with fellow students, and professionals in medical fields, the business side of a pharmacy peaked his interest.  It was a business, it was useful, and he knew it would be something to build a productive life on. To become a pharmacist, a Doctor of Pharmacy degree, also known as a Pharm. D. degree was required, and that is exactly what Tim focused upon.

In between obtaining his degree, and the building, Tim married Sydney.  Married 23 years, this May of 2021 (and Tim was very careful to remember the exact number of years), children were born and raised, a house made into a home, and establishing himself within the community.  Being born and raised, himself, was not enough, he wanted a stronger foothold based upon giving to the community, and developing a good reputation as a businessman.  For two years, Tim served as a City councilman, but he knew Monticello needed more guidance into the future.  Running for mayor was the next step, and he easily won the peoples’ vote.  He is serving his seventh year, but once his eighth year is up (2022), so will be his mayoral tenure. 

Tim’s time is currently spent 80% with family and business, and 20% devoted to the government sector.  “The City staff has done a great job taking care of things, and I think I have been fair at looking at both sides, and finding the best solutions.  Sometimes someone will not come in due to a decision the City Council has made, but I cannot control that.”  So, after ten years in City government, Tim will be 100% all about family and business.

Before getting into future plans, let me tell you all about Main ST. Drug & Boutique.  Originally San Juan Pharmacy, it was felt that a name change was necessary, due to the same named pharmacy down in Blanding.  No, it was not a competition issue, as the two stores would often run sales together, and definitely promote each other.  It was due to suppliers, pharmaceutical and sundry, that kept confusing the two shops.  Orders were often sent to the wrong address, and with medications needed in a timely manner, that simply could not continue.  2009 became the year of change, not just for the name, but for what the shop would sell.

Of course the main focus was the pharmacy, OTC healthcare and self-care.  There is a daily delivery of medical supplies, so ordering a specific item is no problem.  Tim listens to his customers, and works diligently to make sure their wants and needs are satisfied.  I can attest to the fact that he is knowledgeable about what he sells; and will do whatever he can to get the best pricing on prescriptions.  This is no huge chain store that tells you an item is in stock, makes you travel to their location, only to tell you, “Sorry, not in stock yet”.  You will receive a call from Tim, if there are any issues, and a specific time of delivery to the store.  Heck, I have even had Tim visit my home, after closing, delivering a late received item, to make sure I would not do without.  Would a chain store do that!?!


How has Covid-19 affected business?  “It was hard not allowing people to come into the store at first.  We tried to make things go smoothly by offering home deliveries, back door pickups, and mailings.  In fact, we’re still doing it even though we’re allowed to open, and keep open, our doors, to customers.  People need their medications, and we have to make sure they get them when they need them.”~~Tim Young

 There is one more benefit to the pharmacy, and that is compounding.  Drug compounding is often regarded as the process of combining, mixing, or altering ingredients to create a medication tailored to the needs of an individual patient. Compounding includes the combining of two or more drugs, as prescribed by a doctor.  Besides another pharmacy in Durango, CO; Tim’s shop is the only other that will do compounding, in the 4 Corners area.  Otherwise, the nearest pharmacy is in Spanish Fork, so unless you enjoy the journey there, Main ST. is for this special need.


Best selling items for personal wellness are probiotics, vitamins/supplements, and allergy medications.  There are many other standard brand products, but special requests and doctor ordered are, once again, no problem.  Personal care also includes hair salon products, foot care, braces, bedding, baby care and first aid. 


There is more to personal wellbeing than medications though; with offerings of toys, silly pillows, cards for any occasion, home décor, jewelry, and clothing.  

Originally, under the San Juan Pharmacy name, the majority of items sold was home décor, but that has drastically changed.  This is where I now introduce Sydney, Tim’s wife, the greater woman behind the great man, and the person in charge of ordering.  It would be so easy to buy in bulk, offering a few nondescript sundries that so many people could buy; but how boring would that be?  The store is meant to be useful to the community, and that also encompasses being unique, and offering unique goods.  Sydney goes to many showcases, researching what is being pushed; making sure not to follow a current fad or trend that will be out of style too soon. 


She also has an eye for style, so is it any wonder she has a clothing line, with friend, and coworker, Monique?  The name of the line is Moxsi Apparel which sells at the store, as well as online (  While Sydney and Monique are not designers themselves, they search out artisans and designers, picking out the best goods, and rebranding under the Moxsi label.  The clothing is geared for the woman, of any age, to look fabulous in any situation; and feel good while looking good.


Now is the time to write about my very favorite part of Main ST. Drug & Boutique; the snacks, treats, and sweets.  Brandy is the front end manager and basically runs what is not pharmacy based.  She sets up the displays to catch the eye, and helps bringing in sale items that are unique as well. With her vast experience in the food industry, she does this unique purchasing very well.


Two new items are The Crispery and Candy Club.  What is The Crispery?  It was founded by a stay at home mom, Judy Soldinger, in 1995.  Brandy knew of her, as she lived in a nearby town, in Virginia, and wanted to promote the business.  Personally, I am hooked on these, and mint chocolate and coconut are my faves.   Let the website explain what they are, “The gooey sweetness of the marshmallow and the delectable crunch of the crispies come together in a treat that is handmade to perfection. One bite and you’ll enter the Crispery Zone where treats are always soft and gooey, never hard and sticky.”  Basically, this is the ultimate rice crispy treat!  The price charged, for each, is only $4.99 which is much cheaper than ordering directly from the website, and no shipping charge either.  So many flavors, candy additions, and often there is a specialty treat geared to a holiday.


Candy Club are six ounce or 13 ounce, reusable glass jars, full of a variety of candies…sweets, sours, hard, chewy, gummy, chocolate covered, etc.  There are also gift sets available.  All I really know is that I posted a photo on Facebook, and there were so many comments of, “I love those!”


Also available are Now Real Food organic nuts, seeds and dried fruits, Poppy Handcrafted Popcorn, brand name candies, and Abdallah Chocolates and Sweets.  Abdallah has been making gourmet chocolates, using the finest ingredients, for four generations.  They also offer a selection of sugar free chocolates for those who crave chocolate, but have to avoid real sugar.  When it comes to most items sold, Tim admits that his customers have made consumables popular, and desired items.

Now I asked Tim, “What is your favorite area of the store?” and he answered with, “The Jelly Belly display, and especially the Jordan Almonds, I can’t stop eating those!  I tell Brandy not to order them, but they’re popular, so she has to.”  “Now Tim”, I said, “just go to a lot of Italian weddings, and they’re a must to have.”  He admitted that is exactly why they are such a huge seller, for weddings.

Of course, the jelly beans are what make the Jelly Belly brand so popular in itself.  I personally enjoy mixing up lemon, lime, orange, pineapple and cherry flavors; it’s like a fruit salad!  Of course my husband has to burst my delusional bubble by informing me that they are not a real serving of fruit.  Hey, I can dream!


Speaking of weddings, Main ST. does have a gift registry, and for any other occasion, order up gift bags or baskets.  Brandy, herself, will pick specific items to please, pamper and satisfy for birthdays, holidays, engagements, weddings, anniversaries, or any other special day.

For the future, the idea of expansion has come to mind several times.  With San Juan Credit Union moving out of next door, “There is only a wall between us and the other section.”  However, what would expansion mean?  Main ST. keeps its integrity by, once again, being unique, not following fleeting fads, listening to customers and bringing in what they want and need.  Main ST. does not want to be just “every other store”.

Main ST. Drug & Boutique has a motto, “Trusted Care from People We Know”.   All employees are treated as friends and family; and Tim feels blessed that his employees treat all customers the same way.  Whatever the future may hold, the overall goal is to create a good experience for every person who comes in.  No question will be too ridiculous to answer.

So, here is the end, and a good place to repeat the end, that was the beginning…

“I am Grateful, Happy and Blessed, but most of all, I am Thankful, truly Thankful for all the support shown and given by the community.” ~~ Tim Young, Owner and Doctor of Pharmacy

Mary Cokenour



Thursday, March 4, 2021

Happy Little Trees

Now, as much as I enjoyed watching Bob Ross, on PBS, Saturday afternoons, my talent in painting went as far as that.  I tried, many a time, with several paint mediums, but my eyes and hand simply did not agree on the images.  I did not give up on finding my artistic talents though, and outdoor photography became one.  Photography of the landscapes, wildlife and plant life became a natural talent within me.  One just has to peruse my travel blog (, or visit the Hideout Community Center in Monticello, UT, to view my photos.

But enough about my artwork, and let’s get back to those happy little trees.  No, I am not referring to maples, oaks, pines or the many varieties of flowering trees.  I am writing about…Broccoli!  Mother Nature’s edible trees, growing in a bunch, up from a fertile ground; to be chopped, steamed, sautéed, baked, or any number of ways to cook it.

Eaten cooked or raw, broccoli contains a truckload of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants; ready for the list?  One cup (91 grams) of raw broccoli packs:

Carbs: 6 grams

Protein: 2.6 gram

Fat: 0.3 grams

Fiber: 2.4 grams

Vitamin C: 135% of the RDI

Vitamin A: 11% of the RDI

Vitamin K: 116% of the RDI

Vitamin B9 (Folate): 14% of the RDI

Potassium: 8% of the RDI

Phosphorus: 6% of the RDI

Selenium: 3% of the RDI

Broccoli also contains measurable amounts of the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, which may prevent oxidative stress and cellular damage in your eyes.

...and that is just the short list!  To get the full impact, I recommend reading Top 14 Health Benefits of Broccoli (

When purchasing broccoli, I tend to buy more than I actually need for a recipe.  Why?  Food storage of course!  Remember all that hoarding that started up March of 2020, and fresh, frozen, even canned, vegetables were difficult to find?  That is why food prep and storage is an important aspect for any home.  Whether family related, friends sharing, running a B&B, even on your own…prep and store!

While there are many sites online teaching about this, I would like to recommend a book, just for some historical, yet pretty interesting reading, Plain but Wholesome, Food Ways of the Mormon Pioneers by Brock Cheney.  While it mainly deals with the history of the Mormons trek to Utah, and life in developing the state; it gives details, and recipes, of many food items they either brought with them, or grew later on.

Back to my prep and food storage of broccoli.  I use steaming and freezing; chop up the broccoli, steam for 5 minutes, let slightly cool, place in freezer bags, label with name and date, and into the freezer for future use. Steaming helps retain the nutritional qualities of the broccoli, and the green of the happy little trees pops!   


I have seen it recommended that the broccoli be immersed into cold water, to stop the cooking process.  I have found that this method allows too much water to cling to the broccoli, and with freezing, that means too much ice development.  That is just my experience though.  

Why not just chop up the broccoli and freeze, without steaming?  Carbon dioxide gas will cause the broccoli to develop a grayish tint; and bright green is so much prettier to eat.

Now for a delicious soup recipe that is easy and comforting; so nice for cold, windy and snowy winter days.  Even after four hours of cooking, the broccoli will have a slight crunch, yet still be tender.  It might seem light on seasoning, in the recipe, yet the flavors are fully absorbed throughout.


Crock Pot Broccoli Cheddar Soup



4 cups broccoli florets, cut into small bite sized pieces

1/2 cup diced onion

4 cups vegetable stock

1 tsp. coarse sea salt

1/2 tsp. cracked black pepper

4 Tbsp. unsalted butter

4 Tbsp. all-purpose flour

1 and ½ cups half and half

4 cups shredded Cheddar cheese or 2 cups Monterey jack + 2 cups Cheddar



Combine the broccoli, onion, stock, salt and pepper into a 4-quart crock pot; cook on low for four hours.


After four hours, set crock pot to high.  Take out one cup of liquid.  

Create a roux by melting the butter, medium-high heat, in a large sauce pan; whisk in the flour.  Slowly add in the liquid, continuing to whisk, and then slowly whisk in the half and half.

Add the shredded cheese to the roux mixture, on cup at a time, until it is fully melted and combined. 


Add the cheese sauce to the crock pot and stir it in to combine.  Let it continue to cook in the crock pot an additional 15 minutes.

Makes 6 servings.


Note: For a creamier soup, before adding the cheese sauce, pulverize the broccoli and onion with an immersion blender.  Then continue with cheese sauce and added cooking time.

Picture it, sitting in a cozy chair, bowl of soup cradled in the lap, and reading a good book; maybe on food prep and storage!  Enjoy and keep positive.

Mary Cokenour

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Done Up in a Bun.

There I was, perched upon the edge of the sofa, eyes glued to the television screen, adrenaline pumping…Yes!  Tombstone tears into MadCatter, metallic armor flying to all corners of the arena, and it’s a KO!  That’s correct folks, we are fans of Battlebots, featured on the Discovery Channel.  Hearing, “It’s robot fighting time!” means the sofa will only be vacated during commercials, so not one bit of action is missed.

Thankfully, my buns in the oven were set to a timer which just happened to chime at commercial time.  Otherwise, well they would have been more on the mature side, then planned upon.

“Bun in the oven”, a phrase meaning to be pregnant or expecting a baby.  Originating in the novel, Cruel Sea, by Nicholas Monserrate, published in 1951, a character named Bennett says, “I bet you left a bun in the oven, both of you”, to a couple that just spent an intimate night together.  But why the reference of a baking bun to a baby?   According to the Oxford Online Dictionary, the phrase is a pun, “As a bun grows in size when baked in the oven, similarly, an unborn child grows in the womb of the mother.”

Typically a baked bun is small, sometimes sweet, bread-based, comes in many shapes and sizes, with a rounded top and flat bottom. Well, babies are considered to be sweet, come in different weights (sizes), have a round head and flat feet; sure I can see it.

Buns are usually made from flour, sugar, milk, yeast and butter.  Common sweet varieties can contain chopped fruits or nuts, may be topped with icing, or a sweet drizzle like caramel; or filled with jam or cream.  Other types of buns are used to fill with various meats, cheeses and vegetables; perfect examples are hotdog, hamburger or sandwich buns.

Depending on the culture a "bun" may also refer to particular types of filled dumplings, such as Chinese baozi, or bao, a type of yeast-leavened filled bun.  There are many variations in fillings (meat, vegetables or combination of both), and preparation is either steamed or baked.  You have seen me mention “Roast Pork Buns”, and these are delectable, hand held buns usually found in Chinese bakeries.  Personally, I could eat six in one seating, and still be craving more; that’s how spectacular in flavor, taste and texture they are.  No plans to get to Chinatown in New York City or Philadelphia anytime soon?  Head into Moab and Bangkok House Too; they offer up steamed pork buns as an appetizer.

While the recipe I will be giving you is not the Chinese version, it can be easily made in the home kitchen, using beef, pork or chicken.  Normally, I would make this recipe, shred the meat and spoon it atop sandwich buns; a salad on the side of macaroni or potato, or maybe macaroni and cheese.

However, when watching an exciting show, like Battlebots, you most certainly do not want to be balancing any sort of plate on your lap.  The excitement will be so much, well that plate will go flying, like the shell off Captain Shrederator!  Better to take your chances with a bun in one hand, and make sure not to slap it with the other hand.


BBQ Beef Buns


2 lbs. lean beef roast or London broil; cut into 4 lengthwise pieces

1 and ½ cups diced red bell pepper

1 and ½ cups diced red onion

1 (18 oz.) bottle hickory smoked barbeque sauce

4 (8 count) cans refrigerated biscuits


2 eggs

2 Tbsp. milk


Spray interior of 2-quart crock pot with nonstick cooking spray.  Place beef, upright on sides, against crock pot walls, and in center.  Top with bell peppers, then red onions; cover all with barbeque sauce.  Set on low and cook for six hours.


After six hours, turn off crock pot; preheat oven to 350F, and line baking trays with parchment paper.


On floured board, roll out biscuit dough rounds, half to 5 inches in diameter (bottoms), half to 3 inches in diameter (tops).  Remove beef from crock pot and shred onto a plate.  Spoon out sauce into bowl, use slotted spoon to get peppers and onions, not just liquid.


Onto 5-inch rounds, place beef up to one-inch from edges; spoon chunky sauce over top.  Take 3-inch rounds and place onto center, over beef and sauce.  With water, wet edges of 5-inch rounds and seal over 3-inch rounds.  Place onto parchment lined trays.


In a small bowl, whisk eggs with milk; brush liquid over tops and edges of buns on trays.  When all buns are complete, place in oven for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown.

Makes 16 buns.

Mary Cokenour



Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Ja-Roen Thai Sushi Stays Strong and Delicious

Ja-Roen Thai Sushi

380 South Main Street

Monticello, UT, 84535

Phone: (435) 587-4000

Hours of Operation:  11am – 9pm; Monday thru Sunday

In September 2019, Sampas Janhom opened Ja-Roen Thai Sushi, in Monticello, UT, and the online reviews further his story.  Whether local or passing through, diners are still enjoying his Thai and Japanese specialties.  Take, for example, this review on Google, “One of the great surprises on our road trip. A very unsuspecting restaurant from the outside. When you walk in you wonder how you found the place. It’s a very eclectic place that’s hard to describe. But the food was absolutely spot on delicious. (In addition everything was Covid clean with disposable service where they did not take away from the delicious food).Not fancy but a great surprise almost in the middle of nowhere. Obviously great pride of ownership. Well worth a stop!”

Or, “Amazing, not enough stars. The food was so delicious I ate there once and I went back the next day. I work in the trucking industry and have traveled the US eating at every Thai Restaurant spot I can and this place is on my top 10. A hidden gem from all the other basic restaurant food they have in this small town. They cooked up some of the best Sweet and Sour and Cashew Nut I have ever had. Crisp vegetables, and multitude of flavor, just like good authentic Thai food should be. Worth the 1 mile walk I took from the other side of town at the motel I stayed at.”

Valentine’s Day of 2020, before Covid-19 made its dramatic debut, we enjoyed a special meal, and Sam made sure to spoil us rotten!  So, is it any wonder that for 2021, we found ourselves at Ja-Roen once again?  Since my husband had to work that evening, we were at the restaurant by 4:30pm, and were greeted with rousing shouts of “Welcome Roy and Mary, Happy Valentine’s Day”.  Sam loves to retell the story of how I was the first person he met, when scoping out Monticello for a restaurant, and I convinced him to do it.

By now, we thought we had the menu pretty well memorized, but noticed a couple of additions to the sushi roll choices; Alaskan King Crab Roll and Lobster Roll.  However, we had already determined we wanted our very favorite menu items for today.  Our appetizer, believe it or not, was not from the appetizer section; instead All American Dream Roll.  Tempura style soft shell crab, with tender baby asparagus and avocado, wrapped in rice and topped with shredded crab stick, tempura flakes and a light sauce.  

Our main meal choices, which we shared of course, were Pad Se Ewe; wide egg noodles (much different from the typical supermarket style) with egg, broccoli, meat (we chose beef), stir fried in a sweet soy sauce (and we asked for extra sauce, no problem!)  We absolutely love this dish as it reminds us of our adventures in Philadelphia’s Chinatown district, and scarfing down Chow Ho Fun.

Sweet and Sour was the second dish; tender meat (we chose chicken) pieces battered and deep fried to a crispy perfection, with chopped onion, bell pepper, tomato, cucumber, scallion and pineapple.  The sweet and sour sauce covers all, but is light in flavor, so does not overwhelm the meat or vegetables.  There is a choice of white or fried rice with this dish, and highly recommend the fried rice which has peas, carrots and lightly fried with soy sauce.

We only ate half of each dish, that way hubby could take the remaining halves for lunch during work.  Oh yes, I had a craving later on, but had to sustain myself with mere cheese and crackers; ho hum.

Hot Jasmine Tea

Now this left plenty of room for dessert!  We shared Fried Ice Cream; a ball of vanilla ice cream, battered and deep fried; topped with whipped cream, chocolate sauce and a cherry (I snagged that baby fast!).

Even though the weather had been unfriendly and dreary, we had a blast this Valentine’s Day. We were eating food we enjoyed, in a friendly atmosphere, and with an owner who appreciates, not just our business, but we as people.  We were all laughing so loudly, people kept turning to stare at us!  By the time we left at 6pm, the restaurant was half full, and take-out orders were steadily being called in and picked up.

Ja-Roen Thai Sushi is a restaurant that stood strong during the pandemic, and refused to go under, as many other restaurants sadly have done.  Sampas Janhom, and his son who works diligently with him, made sure that folks could still continue to get freshly made Thai and Japanese foods.  Thank you guys, you are awesome people!

Sampas Janhom, Owner

Still have not tried this restaurant out?  Well if it is a special invitation you are waiting for, here it is; “Go try it out now, and make your taste buds and stomach feel happy!”

Mary Cokenour