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Quinter, KS : Community News

by Klint Spiller
March 12, 2012 - Hays Daily News

QUINTER -- Jack Tebow always wanted a soda fountain in his pharmacy.

From the 19th to early 20th centuries, soda fountains often were located inside pharmacies, serving carbonated beverages, ice cream and sometimes food.

Tebow is a fifth-generation pharmacist, so he has a bit of background in the industry.

So when Tebow purchased Ray's Pharmacy from longtime Quinter pharmacist Ray Hall, he immediately considered installing a soda fountain.

He said it just took a decade to convince his wife, Doris, of the idea.

"It was one of those things where I had to plant the seed and water it a little bit," Jack Tebow said. "It was a multi-year and (multi-) step process to convince her that was what we needed to do. After about 10 years, she decided it was a good idea."

The Tebows owned Ray's Pharmacy and Q-Value, a hardware store, in Quinter for some time, but the stores were a block apart from each other.

"It was a lot of work maintaining two stores," Doris Tebow said.

They were interested in combining the two, so when the former theater went up for sale in 2008, they jumped at the opportunity.

With the elevated ceilings and spacious interior, the Tebows finally had the space for their soda fountain.

"One day, we paid our loan off at the bank (for the original building). Two days later, we bought this building," Doris Tebow said.

It took a year to renovate and remodel the building, and they opened the new stores together in the fall of 2009.

Shortly after they purchased the building, Jack Tebow started hunting for a soda fountain and bar.

He knew of a bar in Los Angeles that was offered for auction online several times before but never sold. It went up for auction again, so the Tebows traveled to L.A. to check it out before eventually buying it.

The 30-foot-long Del Monte bar was made at the turn of the 20th century and originally was used in a bar in New York.

Time had wore on it, and there was a fire in the hotel that caused damage to it, so they had it restored and refinished.

"It was just stripped," Doris Tebow said. "It wasn't finished wood. There were places where that veneer over the top over time as it got wet kind of peeled off."

They also found an old 1940s Bastian-Blessing soda fountain. It wasn't quite as long as the bar, but the 30-gallon soda fountain was the second largest the company made, said Jack Tebow.

Now on top of being a hardware store and pharmacy, they are a fully functioning soda shop, providing flavored drinks and ice cream.

"We went online and looked up recipes," Doris Tebow said. "We figured out how to make sodas and all these old fountain drinks."

They even found an antique cash register from the 1940s and used it as a decoration to maintain the motif.

Doris Tebow said Hall, who owned the pharmacy for 40 years, thought her husband was crazy for wanting a soda fountain.

"He said, 'Jack, you've got to be kidding me. The best day of my life was the day I got rid of my soda fountain. It was a pain,' " Doris Tebow said.

However, Doris Tebow said she has been convinced.

"It's almost like it was meant to be here," she said.