Pharmacy balances old-fashioned service and modern technology

February 2016: Combine the charm of an old-fashioned rural drug store with the modern features of a nationwide chain, and you’ll have the ingredients for what has made Curry Pharmacy a landmark in Clinton.
Curry Pharmacy, located at 10643 Plank Road, is far more than a drugstore – it’s a gathering place. A peaceful looking front porch area greets customers who walk into the store. Several wooden rocking chairs line the porch area, where some customers wait for prescriptions and others simply enjoy the chit-chat. The front porch may give the impression of a throwback business, but it becomes a part of the down-home mix with the latest features of a pharmacy.

Wimberly Gayle, owner of Curry Pharmacy with husband Brad Gayle

Wimberly Gayle, owner of Curry Pharmacy with husband Brad Gayle

When husband and wife Brad and Wimberly Gayle acquired the store 15 years ago, they set out to operate a business that offers the best of both worlds. The pharmacy offers conveniences such as a website, online prescription services and even an app for iPhone and Android. It walks a fine line between an old-fashioned approach and modern technology for the Gayles.

Wimberly set out to continue the traditions of another store that operated with the pharmacy – a Ben Franklin five-and-dime. Originally, the discount store and a Radio Shack franchise were housed in the building, along with the pharmacy in a 10-by-15 section.

“When I bought the store, Brad wanted to eliminate the fabric department (left over from the five and dime business),” Wimberly said. “The previous owners said that wasn’t a good idea because the fabrics were a good draw. To this day, ladies still come here and buy materials for their quilting club,” she said. And, of course, once they’re in the store, they often make other purchases.

Curry Pharmacy also offers a wide variety of gifts and home decor for all occasions.

Curry Pharmacy also offers a wide variety of gifts and home decor for all occasions.

Much like major retail pharmacies, Curry Pharmacy is not just about prescriptions and over-the-counter medicines. Curry also sells cosmetics, household items, toys, gifts, school uniforms, candles, picture frames, costume jewelry, fragrances, purses, umbrellas and the aforementioned fabrics.

The pharmacy remains the focal point of the business, but Wimberly said the entire business of retail pharmaceuticals has changed immensely since she became an owner.

“Today, you have digital prescriptions, and drive-through services – and I never imagined a day when people would order their medicine online,” she confided.

Regardless of what they sell, the objective remains the same, she observed.

“It’s about service,” Wimberly said. “We may cost a little more than others, but for the small amount you might save elsewhere, we provide full service.”

Kristen Chasteen and James Jelks prepare prescriptions at Curry Pharmacy.

Kristen Chasteen and James Jelks prepare prescriptions at Curry Pharmacy.

Curry Pharmacy keeps a pharmacist on duty during all hours of business. The pharmacy staff includes pharmacists Kelli Sterling, Justin Prestridge, Ash Jelks and James Jelks. Pharmacy techs include Kelli Gayle, Kristin Chasteen, Bradley Gayle and Austin Gayle.

The commitment to service does not end with the close of a workday, either. Wimberly or one of the other pharmacists may find themselves at the store after hours or on Sunday to fill a prescription for a customer who needs it immediately.

“I’m here at least a couple times a week after hours,” she said. “That’s part of what we offer our customers.”

Plus, they are there for customers not only for drugs or when someone is sick; they also offer wellness programs, including a Health Fair which provides free blood pressure screenings and blood-sugar testing.

Their involvement in the community also extends into the active role of the business with the East Feliciana Chamber of Commerce.curry3

Wimberly and Brad have been married 23 years and have two children – Austin, who attends pharmaceutical school in Atlanta, and daughter Mikayla, who will graduate from Sillman Academy this year.

The success of the pharmacy over the years has lead the Gayles to the decision to expand. Curry Pharmacy plans to open a second location this year on La. 19 in Slaughter.

Details:

Curry Pharmacy, 10463 Plank Rd, Clinton; 225.683.8188. : Mon.-Fri. 8:30-5:30 Mon.-Fri., 8:30-12:30 Fri., and closed on Sundays. Website: www.currypharmacy-clinton.com; Facebook: Curry Pharmacy

“The land became available, and it made sense to build there as that area keeps growing,” Wimberly said.

All part of their plan to provide down-home service and modern innovations to area customers.

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