A ribbon cutting ceremony was held Tuesday to celebrate the opening of Clark’s Pharmacy in Van Wert. The Van Wert location in the Summit Shopping Center is one of several locations for the Ohio pharmacy. (Times Bulletin/Ed Gebert)
VAN WERT — Another business opened its doors for the first time on Tuesday. This business is looking to be the rebirth of the community pharmacy in Van Wert.
The plans for opening Clark’s Pharmacy in Van Wert began when news that Derry’s Drugs was going to be sold to CVS.
“The facts are the community was supporting Derry’s. I think they like small community businesses still,” remarked Tim Clark, president, third generation pharmacist, and owner of the family business. “I mean, you guys need an independent store, so we try to keep an eye on what’s going on. It’s a stable area. Economic it’s not feasible to have seven pharmacies, but it’s a town that could have three.”
Clark and other family members joined the pharmacy staff and well-wishers for the ribbon cutting Tuesday. The store is the ninth in Ohio and 12th overall for Clark’s. The local store is located in Summit Shopping Center in the former Three Rivers Federal Credit Union building.
“We kind of like repurposing buildings, like banks because the whole drive-through thing is perfect for us,” Clark stated.
Clark’s Pharmacy was begun by James Clark, Sr. in 1939, making this year the company’s 75th in business. Other Clark’s Pharmacies are located in Brookville, Cedarville, Centerville, Huber Heights, Middletown, and New Lebanon. The company also operates Tim’s Pharmacy in Beavercreek and Greg’s Pharmacy in Bluffton.
The philosophy for Clark’s is not to focus on gift and other items.
“The thing that kind of makes us stand out and be successful is we really focus on being a really good pharmacy,” said Clark. “To us a pharmacy is filling your prescriptions and stuff and not selling you stuff you really don’t need. It has to do with relationships and service. That’s how independents are successful.”
Clark noted that he is proud of having community pharmacies. He brought in several employees who used to work at Derry’s Drug Store before that firm closed its doors. He believes that extra services like delivery can help Clark’s fill the niche vacated by Derry’s.
“I think people chose to go to Derry’s for a very long time. Our hope is those same people come back over here,” he shared.