After 15 years of serving Weed and the surrounding communities, Country Drug is closing its doors on Aug. 4.
“We’re retiring the business,” said owner Paul Willis. All the pharmacy’s files and inventory will be moved to Rite Aid in Mount Shasta and every customer’s prescription will be on file there.
Paul and his wife Vivien are sorry to say goodbye to their loyal customers, but they are looking forward to retirement.
Paul called his time at Country Drug the “greatest working experience I’ve ever had” in a 40-year career as a pharmacist. “Vivien and I are thankful for our customers from all over south county,”?he said.
He said they appreciate their wonderful employees, calling them “the best staff.”
He assures Country Drug customers that there is “no reason to panic,” because Rite Aid “will go above and beyond” to ensure they are served well.
Rite Aid has remodeled its facility to accommodate the increase in customers. They will offer regular delivery service to people within the area and will mail prescriptions to customers out of the area.
Willis said he will work for Rite Aid through the transition. Boris Periera, the other pharmacist at Country Drug, will work for Rite Aid “on a more permanent basis,” said Willis, as will some of the other Country Drug staff.
In a letter to their customers, Paul, Vivien and the Country Drug staff said, “We look forward to seeing you at Rite Aid where you will have the same quality customer care... Many of the Country Drug employees will be at Rite Aid to help you.”
“It’s sad. We cry,” said Vernadine Cook, a Country Drug employee for four years. “We have customers coming in just to say goodbye. It’s emotional.”
“They have always been so terrific,” customer Kathy Maurer said of the staff. A Country Drug customer for the past seven years, Maurer said she and her husband had a choice to receive their prescriptions through the mail, but chose to go to Country Drug because they appreciated the quality care and wanted to support the local business.
Maurer said she went to the Country Drug staff when she needed to buy a blood pressure monitor. “You knew you could get your questions answered and make the best decision possible,” she said.
Maurer will also miss the gift shop area at Country Drug. “To lose that is really sad,” she said, emphasizing that she bought gifts and cards there often. “You never know when you’re going to need a little knickknack like that.”
Rite Aid did not purchase any of the gift items, so Country Drug is holding a closeout sale of all non-prescription items until they close.
The Country Drug building on Main Street has housed many enterprises through the years, including Gene’s Clothing, the Weed Library and Delgado’s Market. Its next identity is not yet known. The store space will either be rented or sold. “We haven’t decided yet,” said Willis.