Design for Innovation


Interview with Todd Boyer

“Ooooooh! This is my baby,” Todd said. “I could go on for days about this bad boy.”

Sparks Pharmacy is a small building just six thousand square feet located in downtown London, Ohio. Before this, there hadn’t been a new build in the downtown area for 22 years. The owner, Ernie Sparks, owned the London branch of The Medicine Shop for years, Sparks Medicine Shop. He developed a solid business plan to stay local in a time when new developments outside town were occurring, like housing and businesses like CVS and Walmart as well as a new hospital in the next town. It was a risk, but he was making enough money that he wanted to separate himself from the franchise. 

His goal was to bring people back downtown, so he wanted a building that would do just that. His idea was to house three offices inside the building: an OB-GYN, a pediatrician, and his pharmacy, Sparks Pharmacy. “His joke is that he’d get ya your entire life. You start at the OB-GYN, then move to the kid doctor, and then stop and get your prescriptions when you’re picking up your kid’s. It’s a one stop shop,” Todd laughed. “We designed the suites to tailor those offices. It kept them all in town and it fed his business.” 

Todd spoke about the project itself, but the experience he had is where our conversation kept landing. It was his first solo project and he was just 28. He claimed he had no idea what he was doing, but this was the project that taught him that successful projects were and are rooted with good clients. “Meetings took 15 minutes because we’d get there and lay the drawings out on the sink in the back room and Ernie would say ‘Look good to you guys? Okay, let’s roll with it.’ He just put all of his faith in me. It made me want to deliver,” Todd said. “The front of the building is glass because Ernie wanted to be present. There wasn’t signage because everybody knows he’s right there. He’s the guy in the Hawaiian shirt who hops in his hot air balloon to go on a ride. He’s the guy who made sure they all put their handprints in the concrete.” Heart melt

2006 Pop Culture Facts

Here’s what you couldn’t do in 2006: smoke in bars or walk around without quoting Tina Fey in your head all day long because 30 Rock premiered on NBC and Ohio banned smoking in bars and restaurants. That’s pretty cool. I have a thing for breathing. You know? 

Here’s what you could do in 2006: send 140 characters or less to people who “follow” you like you’re freaking royalty. (Narcissists.) You could sit and read Buzzfeed articles (and probably tweet them because… hilarious. You could also get all dark with Dexter on the tube. Contemplations.