Drugstore fills a big void in town
BERRYVILLE — Less than a year after its only pharmacy closed, the town again has a place for residents to get their prescriptions filled.
Ken and Tally Reed will hold the official ribbon-cutting at 11 a.m. today for their sixth independent pharmacy, at 15 Crow St.
The store had a “soft opening” on Jan. 2, to “get the bugs out,” Ken Reed said.
The town has been without a pharmacy since March 2012, when Randy and Sharon Vinson sold the Berryville Pharmacy on Main Street to CVS Caremark. Patient records were moved to the CVS store on Berryville Avenue in Winchester.
Berryville could be back to two pharmacies later this winter — the town last had more than one in the early 1990s — with the planned opening of another independent drugstore on Main Street. The wife and daughter of former pharmacy owner Eugene White have announced plans to bring his business back.
The Reeds, both licensed pharmacists, are graduates of the West Virginia University School of Pharmacy. They are the parents of four children, along with family pets including three dogs, a cat, a tortoise and a hermit crab.
After working for chain pharmacies, they founded their flagship enterprise in Berkeley Springs, W.Va., in 1998, and now have six stores, mainly in West Virginia and Maryland. The Berryville store is their first in Virginia.
After being informed about concerns over Berryville losing its last pharmacy, the Reeds came to the town last year to check it out.
“We spent an afternoon [here],” said Tally Reed, who mentioned that the stop included a visit to a local restaurant. “We really liked the feel of it.”
“Great food,” her husband added.
Mark Williams, Melvin Hemerick and Craig Hatcher — all from West Virginia — are partnering with the Reeds on the new store.
Williams said he found Berryville’s commitment to its Main Street program, “very inviting.”
“They are very pro-small business,” Tally Reed added.
Mandy Schleuss, a graduate of the Shenandoah University School of Pharmacy in Winchester, will be the store’s full-time pharmacist, and there will be two other employees. All the partners will rotate in and out of the store, which will be open 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Ken Reed said the company succeeds by being small, efficient and focused on customer service.
For instance, in West Virginia, Williams said, the Reed pharmacies offer the “Face to Face” program for those suffering from diabetes. Clients are offered evaluation and advice on diet and nutrition in addition to the medications they may take to control the disease.
The pharmacies also typically offer programs for smoking cessation, and can do immunizations for pneumonia and flu.
“We have a pretty extensive selection of vitamins,” Williams said, adding that the store may get into veterinary compounding — where medications are created for pets.
Tally Reed said each of their pharmacies is unique, shaped by the community.
“The town will tell us what they need us to do,” her husband agreed.
“It’s been successful so far,” Tally added. “We hope it works for Berryville.”
— Contact Val Van Meter at email@example.com