The Celina Main Street and Historic Downtown Square has seen people from many eras due to the many thriving businesses which have called the square home. Two businesses, in particular, were drug stores. One of those buildings, at the corner of Pecan and Ohio, is still a sweet and nostalgic fixture in Downtown Celina, although it has been empty for quite some time. But that is about to change.
Through the years, there have been many owners and as it seems the importance of maintaining the original sentiment and purpose has been passed down through generations.
Jim Drake and his wife Maxie Lewis Drake (sister of Mrs. George Jenkins) first owned one of the first drug stores and made it one of Celina’s first Post Offices.
In 1909 Dr. Jenkins became co-owner with Dr. R.L. Clayton.
In 1910 Mr. Willis and Mr. John Stallcup were co-owners.
In 1917 Roland Willis and Fred Boyer bought the store and named it Willis and Boyer. They also owned the ice cream factory and made ice cream for the soda fountain. Mr. Roland sold his share to Mr. Boyer who owned it until he too, retired.
Mr. Roland sold the property to Charlie Frank Choate in the 1920’s. Mr. Choate was the sole owner until he sold to Vic Arrington in 1945. Mr. Arrington closed this particular store permanently in the 1950’s.
Mr. Charlie Jackson opened the store that is still a permanent fixture here in Celina’s Historic Square. Mr. Jackson continued to work there until he sold to a Mr. Wesley Young. During these times, the store maintained a very lucrative soda business, sometimes even selling up to 50 gallons of ice cream on any given Saturday of the month.
In 1917 Mr. Bob Jones and Joe Dyer purchased the stores to operate as a chain called Dyer and Jones. Mr. Jones became the sole owner when his co-owner died in a tragic car accident. The name then became Jones Pharmacy.
Mr. Earl Tillerson, who was an employee who came to work at the drug store after serving in World War II, bought an interest in the store upon the death of Mr. Jones. Tillerson, ran the business until 1967 once it was purchased by Bary Davenport.
In 1970 Rex and Fran Mask then bought the pharmacy and changed the name to Celina Drug. Rex talks about his days as owner with great pride and enthusiasm. “We sure had a good time” he says of the memories made there, adding that “we wouldn’t trade those days and or the experiences for anything.” Mask sold Celina Drug in the mid 2000’s.
In 2007, Jai Harris-Ellis came on board and in 2017 she purchased Celina Drug.. Today, Harris-Ellis can still be found behind the counter of Celina Drug, which operates just a mile north off Preston Road. But the original building that holds so much history is a beloved part of the square. What’s coming will be something that preserves the sweet history and celebrates what once was.
The old days of soda fountains, ice cream and sweet treats that filled the pharmacy so long ago will carry on in the same location they once did. That’s right, a new little place called “Hey Sugar” will soon serve up more delectable goodness than can be imagined.
With the success that has been seen with their four other locations including Roanoke, Waco, Decatur and College Station, you’ll be glad to know that as of this summer you won’t have to travel outside of the Celina Square to enjoy a sweet experience, to the likes of Candy Land or Willy Wonka. Not only do they make and sell specialty candy, ice cream, retro sodas, popcorn and chocolate, Hey Sugar can create custom gift baskets for any occasion!
Keeping with the tradition of community and gatherings, Hey Sugar will also have a party room, for birthdays and other gatherings as well as a porch and outdoor sitting area to enjoy the multitude of treats to choose from. Reminiscing about days gone by while enjoying the simple pleasures that remind us of the goodness of tradition, that’s what you’ll find at Hey Sugar!! We will look forward to seeing you there!