LILLIAN – In 1997, the Lillian Pharmacy was opened by Steve Love and his family. The pharmacy celebrated its 20th Anniversary on June 21, and the staff didn’t let the rain stop them from making …
LILLIAN – In 1997, the Lillian Pharmacy was opened by Steve Love and his family. The pharmacy celebrated its 20th Anniversary on June 21, and the staff didn’t let the rain stop them from making the occasion memorable.
“I moved to Baldwin county in 1975 and worked for Revco in Fairhope for 3 and a half years,” said Love. “The hospital in Foley needed someone with hospital experience, so I moved to Foley and became the Director of the Hospital pharmacy. In 1989, I purchased Elberta Pharmacy and finally completed my dream of owning my own pharmacy. The people of Elberta were very good to me and I was able to open the second store in Lillian in 1997.” The move to Lillian came after community members talked to Love about the need of a good pharmacy in that location. “I agonized over the viability of the idea, but in the end they convinced me to try it,” said Love.
The venture turned out to be fruitful, as 20 years later the Lillian Pharmacy is thriving. While originally opening the doors with only 4 employees, there are now 8 employees on staff, with one technician, Mindy Nobles, working with the company since opening day in 1997. Also still on staff is Steve Love himself, though he sold the business to Stacy Davis in 2010. His admiration for the pharmacy world still runs deep, as Love encourages up-and-coming pharmacists and gives advice to any who dream of one day opening a pharmacy of their own.
During the time the pharmacy has been open, it has only seen 2 owners and 3 different pharmacists-in-charge, which is “impressive for any pharmacy since the stress levels generally cause a quicker rotation of employment,” said Carrie Ray, the current pharmacist-in-charge who began her career at Lillian Pharmacy when she worked the front counter during high school. “Stacy Davis called me a few months before I graduated Pharmacy School and offered me a job to come back as the pharmacist-in-charge in 2012. So I began and hopefully will end my pharmacy career at Lillian Pharmacy.”
But what makes a business thrive for so many years? The staff at the Lillian Pharmacy has the answer.
“We want customers to feel like we are their local family pharmacy where we really do know everyone’s name,” said Ray. “We take pride in being efficient, fast, accurate, polite, and friendly. We can generally have any prescription ready in less than 10 minutes.”
During the Lillian Pharmacy’s 20 years of service, the staff has kept not only a close watch on the ever-changing world of medicine and matched it at every turn, they have also maintained a close relationship to the community in which they serve.
“We are more than just a ‘count, pour, lick, and stick’ pharmacy,” Ray said. “We are constantly evolving just like the profession of pharmacy has evolved.”
The Lillian Pharmacy offers many programs, such as to give immunizations, blister pack medications to make remembering medications easier, free of charge, and they are the only store in Baldwin County to offer to bill diabetic shoes for Medicare patients. Also, they perform Medication Therapy Management services in staff, give complimentary blood pressure checks, free consultation services for anyone that asks, as well as offering collaborative practices with local primary care physicians to ensure that their patients get continuous care from their doctor to their pharmacy to home.
Recently, the pharmacy moved from its original location on 6th Street in order to set up right on Highway 98 to become more accessible to patients. The entire move was performed in a weekend thanks to the dedication of the staff and their families. The new location also allows for a drive-thru service, which was previously unavailable.
“Before we moved, we delivered medications to people’s car and I gave immunizations outside as well if they were too fragile to come inside,” said Ray. “We just tried to take care of the people the best we could, as we still do.”
“The landscape of the pharmacy business has changed over the last 20 years,” owner Stacy Davis said. “Community loyalty is still very important, as well as striving to meet current and future needs of the residents of Lillian. However, there is a new challenge now to get restrictive insurance networks to allow independent, community pharmacies to continue to serve their patients. As always, the pharmacy will continue to evolve and thrive with the focus on patient service. We really wanted to celebrate our 20 Year Anniversary by thanking all of the people in our great community that have supported us throughout the years. It is an honor and privilege to serve such a great community.”
To learn more about the Lillian Pharmacy and its staff, visit LillianPharmacy.com, or give them a call at 251-962-3777.