Back in the 1960s, Thrifty Drug Store in Sherman Oaks was a major depot for picking up drug items, buying delectable ice cream during hot Valley summers, and even dining at the in-store coffee shop.
I vividly recall making regular stop-offs at Thrifty with my mom in our family's powder-blue Ford Country Squire station wagon (purchased from nearby Ralph Williams Ford on Ventura Boulevard). Thrifty had a certain charm to it, and there has never been another drug store like it. For this reason, customers old enough to remember Thrifty often refer to its current "Rite Aid" moniker as "Thrifty's."
The Thrifty drugstores, which merged with the Pay Less drugstore chain in the '60s era, was a Southern California mainstay with many locations. Luckily, when Rite Aid later took over Thrifty, it kept the ice cream name as "Thrifty Award Winning Ice Cream," which, in case you didn't know, is still manufactured in El Monte. Classic Thrifty ice cream flavors include: Chocolate Malted Krunch, which is one of the best ice creams of all time. Then there were the unique "Frankenstein" scoopers, which produce a flattop scoop of ice cream (as in the accompanying photo here).
As a kid, I could get a scoop of Thrifty ice cream for 5 cents and a double for a dime! That was some deal, considering that the quality of Thrifty ice cream was very high and is still one of the best-selling brands of ice cream in Southern California, although many Rite Aid stores do not have the ice cream stations.
Some of the products carried by Thrifty that I recall being such a part of my family's grooming regimen (some of which I still use today) included: Prell concentrate shampoo, Speed Stick "regular green" men's deodorant, Groom N' Clean blue hair gel in a toothpaste-style tube, Skin Bracer aftershave by Mennen, and aqua-colored Zest bar soap.
The candy aisle at Thrifty was stellar, and included items such as Milk Shake candy bars and Monkees trading cards (which featured banana bubble gum).
Now there's a World Market in the spot where Thrifty Drug Store used to be in Sherman Oaks, but I always think of how many times my parents would stop at Thrifty after family dinners out on Ventura Boulevard.
I have to say, with the disappearance of both Sav-On drugstores and the Thrifty, going into the more generic-feeling CVS pharmacy is just not the same for me.