“I was born in Salt Lake City to immigrant parents from Greece. My father passed away during the Great Depression when I was 12 years old. My uncle had a drug store in Salt Lake City and I was employed there for eight years. After graduating from East High School in 1945, I enrolled in the University of Utah Air Force ROTC program and a year later in the newly established College of Pharmacy. In 1949, I was commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant in the Air Force and spent two years as the pharmacy officer at Clark Air Force Base in the Philippines during the Korean conflict.
Upon my return, I was employed at Professional Pharmacy, Medical Arts Pharmacy and lastly as a civilian pharmacy officer at Hill Air Force Base hospital. In 1961, I opened Mountain View Pharmacy in Bountiful, Utah. At that time all grocery stores were incorporating pharmacies. I could see that the corner drug store could eventually become extinct. When the pizzeria adjacent to my pharmacy left, I thought I would take it over and put in a Greek-Italian restaurant, but my Italian counterpart decided not to undertake the restaurant. Here I was, a full-time pharmacist. How could I run a restaurant? At that time there was no Chinese restaurant in Bountiful. We were fortunate to find a couple from Vernal that started off as the first chefs at the Mandarin. Then it was up and down, up and down. . . .It was unbelievable what we went through. Here we are now, 41 years later, well established. I walk around here at night greeting people and everybody is happy, versus the people who came into the pharmacy who were always sick. But it’s a great profession being a pharmacist with the close contact I had with my customers. They look upon you as if you are their doctor. People would say, ‘Oh, you were my pharmacist.’”
—Gregory Skedros, graduate of the first Air Force ROTC class of 1949 and the first class of the College of Pharmacy in 1950.
Owner of the Mandarin restaurant, Bountiful, Utah.
Full interview by Jacqueline Scheider, U College of Pharmacy, available here.
Photo used by permission from Salt Lake Magazine