Thursday, March 21, 2013

A Local Business It Wrote Me a Letter

Readers of my blog are aware that my neighborhood of Westover, along with many others in New York State, flooded in September of 2011 thanks to Tropical Storm Lee (preceded by Tropical Storm Irene, which caused its own share of grief).  Many people in our neighborhood lost their homes and moved (I believe at least 50 houses are still vacant, although I may be off a little on that figure).  My spouse and I were fortunate - we only had several thousand dollars of damage.

Not only did my neighborhood lose residents - it lost a major employer (1300 employees - the vacant building is pictured in my blog post of yesterday) which, fortunately, relocated a few miles down the road - at least for now.  And, it lost other businesses. 

We may be ready to lose still another business.  While I was on vacation we received a letter.  It was from a business called The Pharmacy and the letter begins:

"Dear Neighbor,
My name is _______ and I am the owner of THE PHARMACY, located at the corner of ______ here in Westover.  We all know that our neighborhood was devastated by the flood of September 2011.  Many of our neighbor's homes and businesses were damaged.  Many of our neighbors have moved out of the area, and of the businesses that were able to re-open, some have since closed or struggle to remain open.  I am writing you this letter in hopes that you will stop by and support a small, local business in our neighborhood.  We are a family owned business that has been serving and supporting our community..."  The letter was signed by hand.

And here I've been, using a pharmacy in a local supermarket.  The supermarket is a NY owned chain, and their building barely escaped flooding. Their employees came into my neighborhood to help when the store closed for nearly 2 days. But still....  I talk about buying local and I never even thought of this business, which is closer to my house than the supermarket is! 

Why?  Because the supermarket pharmacy is open 7 days a week. The Pharmacy is only open Monday-Friday and I work Monday-Friday.  At one time they were closing at just about the time I got home.  Apparently they are now open slightly later at night.

They are even a compounding pharmacy and "work with your doctor or veterinarian..."And, I've had problems from time to time with the supermarket pharmacy's auto refill program.

I remember seeing the employees of The Pharmacy hard at work as soon as the streets they border were reopened to traffic, pulling their ruined inventory out of the building and working, hour after hour, to restore their building.  If you've never had to salvage things after a flood you are a fortunate person. It is dirty, sometimes dangerous work. Some businesses near The Pharmacy were closed for two or or months.  The Pharmacy, as I recall, opened about 10 days after the flood, because their customers needed them.

So...I am going to switch at least some of my prescriptions.  For weekend emergencies, I will still have the supermarket pharmacy or a CVS down the road.  If I leave the supermarket, they won't miss me, although I will feel a pang - their pharmacists have helped me from time to time.

This small business needs me.   I'm happy they reached out to me.

Now I'm wondering:  who are the other hurting businesses in Westover?


  1. Sometimes those small pharmacies will really go out of the way to help you. I've been told by a big chain that they "can't get" one of my medications so I drive an extra 20 minutes to a small pharmacy which can.

  2. Good for you! A strong local community is vital...

  3. I always try to support local businesses when possible. They'll go out of their way to help you, and they certainly need our business to stay afloat. (No pun intended.) Well done!

  4. Amen. I go to Guerin's in Summerville which is the longest operating pharmacy in SC and has been around since before the War. No I can't get scripts on Sundays or late so you have to plan ahead on renewals and might have to go elsewhere if suddenly sick on a Sunday BUT... they rock with personal service and allow kids from the local middle school to have charge accounts to come in and have ice creams after school. There are many, I'm sure, missed opportunities that I should look for to further support local businesses and thanks for that reminder.


Your comments sustain me, as long as they are civil, are on topic, and do not contain profanity, advertising of any kind, links or spam. Any messages not meeting these criteria will immediately be composted, and my flowers will enjoy their contents.