They see a lot more of me at the Apothecary these days. I told them they are my go-to place for pills, and now for newspapers. “It’s because of Otis Spunkmeyer,” I said. “They kicked him out of Alley’s.”

The druggist knew who I meant. The guy with the plastic-wrapped, overly sweet sticky buns. That’s Otis.

For those who don’t know, Otis Spunkmeyer began making baked goods in Oakland, Calif., in 1977. Back then, Twinkies, Yodels and chemical-laced sweets still stocked grocery store shelves. And Otis found a home in Alley’s, way in the back by the storeroom near the coffee condiments. For as long as I can remember, they stocked Otis among other countless obscure goodies procured from eccentric vendors in far-flung corners.

Yes, the place was a mess — the aisles barely navigable while the line stretched past the ice cream freezer. (Are you going to open that second register soon?) And the porch: beach balls, surfboards, fold-up chairs. It was so full of clutter that they’d start packing up way before closing time.

Games are always fun and Alley’s had a ton. Not just the standard Clue, Risk and Monopoly, but others I’d never heard of. Each year I would look for a reissued version of Go to the Head of the Class with Sis and Mom and Junior. (So many questions about 1960 TV shows and Westerns that sometimes we’d get stuck in first grade.)

I miss Otis because he was iconic. The old Alley’s was iconic. Filled to the brim with all that’s quirky and goofy plus the basics in food, household supplies, hardware and more. The Alley’s I liked was more of an evolution, an old-time store whose personality and character came from the people who ran it and worked there.

The new Alley’s is clean, organized, branded — the creation of a conscious plan, not an amalgamation of stuff that lets you wander down curiosity lane, drawn in by a knickknack you might never use. How many little kids have tugged at their Mom and said, “but I really need it” after spotting a whoopee cushion or a set of six paste-on mustaches?

I miss Rhonda. I miss Benny and the kids who worked behind the counter. I miss the chaos, imperfections, and thrill of discovery, the reassurance that Alley’s still hadn’t buckled under the pressure of change.

The new Alley’s is too precious, too Laura Ashley and Martha Stewart, too Black Dog branding. Do we really need another display as if laid out by highly paid ad execs on a commercial shoot?

So now I go to the Apothecary and get my papers there. Alley’s won’t miss me. Surely I am in a minority here that misses Otis, let alone remembers him.

But for a moment there, the druggist and I toasted Otis — and for that I am grateful.

John Rosenmiller lives in New York city and West Tisbury.