Mailbox Toluca Lake seems like a typical post office box business with its exterior blending in with a row of other storefronts at 10153 1/2 Riverside Drive.
But inside this shop, it's a whole different story. For decades known as the unofficial "Town Hall," it's where ideas for movies and shows have been hatched, and where there are at least 1,000 mailboxes designated to mostly people in the entertainment industry. There are rotating racks of greeting cards by the entrance, and shelves against one wall loaded with stuffed toy animals. Of course, FED/EX and postal services are available.
Most importantly, however, are the voice and throat remedies sold by owner Jonathan Kramer (informally known as "The Vocal Doctor to the Stars") which combat laryngitis, hoarseness and other ailments of singers as well as those doing voice-overs. "I've owned the store for 11 years," Kramer says. "When I bought it, there were no greeting cards (being sold). I got into the voice business about five years ago."
Jonathan Kramer in front of
Mailbox Toluca Lake on Riverside
Drive near Forman. He offers much
more than just shipping services.
Photos by Steve Sherman.
He recalls how his mother and sisters have a chronic cough, and one of his cousins bought his mother a box of Grether's Pastilles, handmade throat lozenges from Switzerland. Kramer still sells them today, handing this writer a sample of Blackcurrent Grether's Pastilles "for throat and voice" from a bag of samples he says he is always giving out.
The netted sample voice bag also includes a tube of Nin Jiom Pei Pa Koa, an herbal-based honey loquat syrup for fatigued voices. There is also a small spray bottle of Thayer's Dry Mouth Spray, Ginger Honey Crystals Tea, 100% Raw Manuka Honey, Throat Coat Herbal Tea, a Wedderspoon Manuka Honey Lollipop and various other throat lozenges. "We get solicited by companies that want this sample voice bag," Kramer said. "We have over 66 items. I give out samples all the time." Mailbox Toluca Lake's extensive online catalog also includes brand names such as Tiger Balm liniment. Also included are Superior Vocal Health dietary supplements for clearing sinuses, alleviating stage fright, a tired voice gargle and combating head colds.
Kramer has also said that several recording studios keep his merchandise in stock for their clientele. Voice coach Eric Vetro, who has trained stars such as singers Ariana Grande and Katy Perry, refers all his clients to Kramer's store, and that Burbank ear, nose and throat specialist Dr. Warren Line prescribes Kramer's products to his patients.
"I'm a mass marketer." he declared. Kramer says he hopes to expand his line of vocal and health products, and take all six of his staff members to the Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim in March 2018.
Please visit MailBoxTolucaLake.com
, or call 818-505-9350 for more.