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Sundries, Celebrities & Small Town Charm

Corey’s Pharmacy family offers A glimpse into 61 years on Ocean Drive

A vintage photo of Corey’s Pharmacy, established by Luke Corey in 1956, was originally called the Cypress Center Pharmacy.

A vintage photo of Corey’s Pharmacy, established by Luke Corey in 1956, was originally called the Cypress Center Pharmacy.

To Luke Corey, Florida was the new frontier. A native of Harlan, Kentucky, he went to pharmacy school after World War II and a brief stint in the U.S. Navy. He dreamed of making his home in the state he believed had a dynamic future. His first step was to take the exam for a Florida pharmacist’s license, which he did, passing with high marks. The year was 1956.

At about that same time a retired businessman in Vero Beach, David Gryder, bought and developed a piece of property on Ocean Drive between Easter Lily Lane and Flamevine Lane and called it the Ocean Plaza Building. Because Orchid Island had no pharmacy to serve its residents, few though they were, he figured that a drug store complete with a soda fountain would be a good anchor tenant.  

So Gryder contacted the Florida Board of Pharmacy for a suitable candidate. The board recommended the newly state-licensed Kentuckian, so Luke and his wife Callie moved their family to Vero Beach and opened Cypress Center Pharmacy. Later they changed the name to Corey’s Pharmacy, and the couple eventually bought the building.

Today, over six decades later, Corey’s Pharmacy is still going strong at the same location on the corner of Ocean Drive and Easter Lily Lane. It is one of the few businesses from that era in continuous operation and under the same ownership. Callie at 88 years old came into the store every day until recently, and her grandson Dr. Mark Corey Frankenberger has been the pharmacist since 2000.