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Clinic Drug Store continues to serve patients

AMERICUS — Stepping into Clinic Drug Store will take one back in time in the best way possible.
The walls are lined with memorabilia that instantly brings customers back to simpler days when most anything could be bought at the drugstore. This could have something to do with the store dating back to 1927, when Dr. Joseph Monts, Dr. L.E. Godwin, and Dr. M.M. Simmons opened the drugstore.
The trio already owned Plains Pharmacy when they decided to open Clinic Drug Store in Americus. Monts was in charge of running the store, which worked out in current co-owner Jeryl Pinnell’s favor, as he was hired by Monts. When he finished pharmacy school at the University of Georgia in 1960, he began his career at Clinic Drug Store.
Much has changed over the years and many locally owned businesses have not been able to compete with larger chains. Pinnell said the secret to remaining successful is the store’s service.
“It’s about service, service, service,” Pinnell said. “When someone walks in the door, we greet them right away and make sure they feel welcome.”
Faith Pinnell, pharmacist at the drugstore, agreed. She said that good service is not only about how customers are treated, but the services that are provided to them as well.
“Being around this long doesn’t happen by just coming in and filling prescriptions every day,” Faith said. “We have to step up in every area.”
Stepping up includes providing services that chains do not. Clinic Drug Store offers at-home delivery as well as packaging that separates each dose of each drug a customer is prescribed for every day of the week. All the customer has to do is take what is labeled for each time of the day.
This helps every customer, from those who don’t have the time to separate their drugs into each dose to those who are older or impaired and can’t always remember which medications they have taken. Additionally, both Faith and Jeryl can recount times they have opened the store after hours in order to get a medication for a customer in need.
Of course, the store could treat customers this way without the staff. Jeryl said the store draws employees because of the hours they work, as the store is closed on Sundays and most employees only work one Saturday out of every four. Faith, however, said it has more to do with how they view one another.
“Our employees are our family,” she said. “We take care of each other, just like we take care of our patients.”
Whatever it is that has kept Clinic Drug Store successful over the last century isn’t due to change anytime soon. In fact, there are plans to add a soda fountain in the Plains store which is now owned by Clinic Drug Store, equipped with homemade ice cream.
“I want to keep the store profitable and never lose an employee if I don’t have to,” Jeryl said. “I want this store to be around for the next 100 years.”
The Sumter County Chamber appreciates Clinic Drug Store’s platinum membership and will continue to support the store in all its efforts.
Clinic Drug Store is a Platinum Trustee Investor of the Sumter County Chamber of Commerce. “This elite chamber membership level is recognized as leaders in the community, who are vested in the community,” said Carolyn Wright. “Platinum Trustees genuinely are interested in the growth and economic development wellbeing on the County. Through their substantial contributions, economic development initiatives preserve Sumter’s reputation as a dynamic and vibrant location to do business.”
— Rosemary Scott, University of Georgia, journalism major