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Celebrating 13 Years in Plain City!

It’s so hard to believe that three years have already passed since we celebrated our 10-year anniversary in 2009. As we prepare to celebrate our 13-year anniversary this week (we opened the week of November 1 back in 1999), I thought I would try to list some of the biggest changes that have occurred over our lucky 13 years in Plain City, as well as the things we are most grateful for.

Before I do that, however, Ann Murray recently asked me if we would be celebrating our anniversary this year with a big shindig. I told her that if we were, I was about ready to freak out, because no one had told me–these parties are a lot of work! But, not to worry, we think we will host a costume extravaganza in October 2014 as we celebrate 15 years! I’ll keep you posted as 15 years approach!

1. One of the biggest changes to occur since we opened in 1999 has been the change in location of Plain City Druggist. When we started out, we were, of course, in 1,000 square feet of space in Lovejoy Plaza downtown. While we loved the location in the historic heart of the village, we quickly ran out of room and knew something had to be done when customer lines filed out the front door and down the sidewalk. And so, in 2007, we packed up everything and moved to the building we had constructed over many grueling months on Route 42, across from Der Dutchman. We didn’t know, at the time, what we’d do with so much room, but we are very glad that we took the risk and the opportunity and moved. We are also so glad that all of you followed us to our new location.

2. With the new location came more space for some other big changes–a pick up/drop off window, a counseling room for immunizations (remember when getting a flu shot involved sitting on a chair outside the restroom in the doorway to the back room of the pharmacy? I don’t know how many times I came in the back door at the old store and quickly darted out because Joe was giving someone a shot and they had one arm out of their shirt!), and an entire compounding pharmacy, Midwestern Compounding Pharmacy. We used to do all of the compounding through Plain City Druggist, but as the compounding business grew, we decided to split the two businesses and put the compounding lab in Suite 200 of the pharmacy.

3. We’ve had changes in staff, as well, through these thirteen years, but the biggest changes came with the retirement of Ann Murray and Mary Johnson, who were with us right from the beginning. We miss their presence in the store, even though they stop in often to visit.

4. Another big change only happened recently: Lunch. For those of you who don’t know, we are no longer closing for lunch from 1:15-2:15. Rather, the store remains open to accommodate the schedules of our customers. The staff takes their turn going for lunch and the pharmacists try to grab a bite when things are quiet or overlap their day so that someone can cover the counter while someone else is eating. It is a new experience, but we wanted to make sure our customer service was the highest it could be and the lunch hour was something that still created some difficulties for many of our patients.

5. The Bypass! It’s hard to believe there was ever a time when the bypass didn’t exist. It has created a quiet, cleaner downtown. We remember the times at the old store when semi after semi would roll by in an endless stream of squawking breaks and diesel fumes!

6. The face of Plain City has definitely changed in the 13 years we have been here. There are tons of new buildings (including our own) and businesses in the ever expanding village that has slipped free of its confines, spilling down Route 42 and snaking toward West Jefferson (which is now smaller than us, as of the last census!). We have a new high school, a new elementary school, and a lovely new grocery store (we know our former delivery driver and best buddy, Paul Carpenter, would have been so impressed with Lovejoy’s Market–he used to make countless trips to the grocery every day). Yoder’s Hardware moved from beneath the Clock to where Lovejoy’s used to reside; several banks sprang up in new spanking buildings; and The Orchard and Company ¬†scattered apple seeds across former farm fields. Eldchrist Winery began growing grapes and producing wine off of State Route 736 in an old farmhouse that was lovingly renovated. We also now have a Free Clinic, housed on Saturdays in Dr. Adams offices in Suite 500 next to the pharmacy. Farmer’s Bank became Citizens and then Security and in the process of name changes, the reigning matriarch of the Plain City banking industry, Mary Andrews Mitchell, retired.

7. The face of Plain City has also changed with the loss of many of our wonderful customers–Bud Lovejoy, Dale Rausch, Elden and Jane Anderson, Candace Rucker, Ruby Barker, Donna Dunmire, Marion Wilcox, Wally Cooper, Sandy Stonerock, Betty Raley, Eli Helmuth, Roman Miller, Robert James, Anna Hofbauer, LuVerna Price, Lucille Flowers, Thresa Adams, and so, so many more. We cannot forget the passing in 2007 of Joe’s dad.

And we most certainly, will never forget our former delivery driver and kindred spirit, Paul Leonard Carpenter. Paul was the one who started our anniversary celebrations with the very first hot dog roast to commemorate our one year anniversary. It is hard to believe that was now twelve years ago or that Paul has not been with us since December of 2001. He would have loved the new store and he would have laughed at the delivery van, which probably would have had his picture on it somewhere if he had been here to pose.

While we have lost many old friends, we are thankful for all the new ones we have made through these thirteen years.

Although there have been a ton of changes in the past thirteen years, there is one thing that never changes–we are always so grateful and humbled by your continued support. Thank you for 13 Lucky and Happy Years in Plain City!

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