SOLON– It didn’t take long to fill the void.
Just over a month after the June 2 closing of Solon Drug, a new pharmacy has announced plans to open up shop in Solon.
Randy McDonough and Mike Deninger, co-owners of Towncrest Pharmacy in Iowa City, confirmed Monday they have entered into a lease for 1,500 square feet of space in Jordan Creek Plaza off Highway 1 on Solon’s south side.
Solon Towncrest Pharmacy is scheduled to open Nov. 1 at the latest, McDonough said.
“We know that Solon is a pretty tight knit community,” McDonough said. He and Deninger were familiar with Solon and felt the town would be a good fit, but there was already a drugstore in town.
When Solon Drug closed, the two co-owners saw an opportunity.
“We pride ourselves on customer service, developing relationships with our patients, knowing them by first name,” McDonough said. “And we felt like the kind of community that Solon is, they’d be appreciative of that kind of pharmacy. We felt like our ideals matched nicely with the community.”
Solon Towncrest will occupy half of the former location of Johncy’s Liquor Store in Solon’s Jordan Creek Plaza.
But there’s quite a process to go through. You can’t just sign a lease and open a pharmacy the next day, he observed.
The building still needs some prep work, the design of the store needs to be developed, there’s work to be done with the drug store’s distributor and there are also licensing requirements to fulfill.
“The latest would be Nov. 1, and if we can get there earlier and get things going, we will,” McDonough said. “But Nov. 1 for sure.”
The Solon site will mirror the services and programs provided at Towncrest Pharmacy: a full-service professional pharmacy which also offers over-the-counter medications, health-related items and durable medical equipment, with specializations such as immunizations, screenings and advanced programs.
Those programs can include medication therapy services, medication adherence services or medication compounding.
Towncrest Pharmacy was established in 1963 and was located in the Towncrest Medical Complex on the east side of Iowa City. Originally owned and operated by Pearson’s Drug (formerly located in downtown Iowa City), it was sold to Bill Haigh. Haigh took on Bernie Cremers as a partner in 1991 and together they opened a second store, Medical Plaza Pharmacy, located in Mercy Iowa City. Deninger joined Haigh and Cremers as a partner in 2003, and McDonough joined the team in 2006.
“We’ve always been known for a very individualized, patient-oriented practice,” McDonough said. “Our goal is to get to know our patients. When they walk in, we know who they are and they know who we are, so that we can best care for them and work closely with their other health care providers to make sure they’re achieving their therapeutic outcomes with their medications.”
Solon Towncrest will attempt to hire local staff, he said, and the two owners will likely be at the Solon site at least once a week.
“Our goal is to make this pharmacy very successful,” he noted. “Our goal is to be there for a long, long time.”
There are some inherent problems with opening small town drug stores, he said, and it requires the business to be efficient and effective, providing the products and services people will seek out.
“We’re going to be very open to what the community is wanting,” McDonough said.