March 20, 2017
New pharmacy opening Wednesday in Marshall
Photo/Don Del Rosso
Scott Kim (right) has hired Same Conteh (left) and another pharmacist to help staff the new store in Marshall.
People have to drive to Warrenton, Haymarket, Middleburg to a pharmacy. That’s quite a bit of driving.
— Scott Kim, Mayson’s Pharmacy owner
• Owner: Scott Kim
• Where: 4199 Winchester Road, Marshall
• Hours: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday
• Phone: 540-364-8291
He has no doubt that Marshall will support a pharmacy.
The Northern Fauquier village’s demographics, competition-free market and mix of medical practices make the place ripe for such a business, said Scott Kim, who on Wednesday will open Mayson’s Pharmacy in the Marshall shopping center on Winchester Road.
“The population is about 2,000,” said Mr. Kim, who owns and operates a thriving drug store in Farmville, southwest of Richmond. “There’s no pharmacy (in Marshall). Four doctors practice here; three dentists; an urgent care.”
Perhaps equally important, he will provide high-quality customer service and convenience, the pharmacist said.
“People have to drive to Warrenton, Haymarket, Middleburg to a pharmacy,” Mr. Kim said. “That’s quite a bit of driving.”
Northern Fauquier has been without a pharmacy since the Marshall IGA supermarket sold its prescription drug business to CVS in May 2015. The county’s first pharmacy in a grocery store, it had operated for 34 years.
Government regulations and insurance changes made it impractical for the independent pharmacy to remain in business, Holder Trumbo, who managed his family’s grocery, said at the time.
The pharmacy’s closure also figured significantly into the family’s decision to shut the grocery three months later, after 57 years in business.
“The pharmacy made us viable,” bringing in a steady flow of customers, Mr. Trumbo said in June 2015. “After it closed, it became untenable . . . undoable.”
As well as anyone, Mr. Kim understands the challenges and economics that independent pharmacies face.
“It’s a tough market,” he acknowledged in an interview Friday at Mayson’s Pharmacy. “Low (insurance) reimbursements, mail-order competition, big chain stores — especially Walmart. I don’t like Walmart at all.”
But, “I’ll do my best. Hopefully, I’ll make it here.”
Mr. Kim started his search for a second pharmacy location last year.
He considered opening in Lynchburg and Richmond before discovering, through Google Maps, that Marshall had no pharmacy.
“I didn’t have any doubts” about starting a pharmacy in Marshall, “because I spent a lot of time scouting my second location,” Mr. Kim explained. “When the (Marshall IGA) pharmacy closed, it was an opportunity.”
In October, he signed a five-year lease with Marshall Shopping Center LLC. He pays $1,300 per month to rent the 650-square-foot storefront.
“Small, but this is more than enough,” Mr. Kim said of the space. “This is a good size.”
He estimated utilities, including internet service, will cost $500 per month.
His start-up expenses will total $80,000, with medications accounting for about $60,000 of that amount, Mr. Kim said.
He will commute weekly from Farmville to Marshall — more than two hours each way — initially working Wednesday and Thursday at the Marshall pharmacy.
Mr. Kim has hired two pharmacists to provide coverage for the remaining work days. Named after his 3-year-old son, Mayson’s will be open Monday through Saturday.
He also plans to hire two technicians.
And, “if there’s demand, I will start delivering medication within a 10-mile radius” in the next six months or so, Mr. Kim said.
“To survive,” the pharmacy must fill an average 100 prescriptions per day within a year, he said. “I’m positive about my expectations . . . . There’s always worry about the unknown. But, every day you do your best.”
He remains encouraged by the community response to the pharmacy.
“Yesterday, I filled one prescription,” Mr. Kim said Friday. “And, today I have about 10 prescriptions, even though it’s not officially open yet.
“People call me saying, ‘Hey, when are you coming? I want to see a pharmacy in Marshall. I don’t want to drive to Warrenton and long waits’.”
Lisa Fuller, 62, who boards horses and trains riders at her farm near Hume, stopped by the pharmacy Friday to get a prescription filled.
“It’s very inconvenient to come to a doctor here and go all the way to Warrenton to a pharmacy,” Ms. Fuller told the pharmacist. “I’m glad you’re opening. This is cool.”
Judy Almquist, 77, who lives near Marshall, also visited the pharmacy Friday to have a prescription filled.
After the IGA pharmacy shut, Ms. Almquist took her business to the Haymarket Walmart.
“It’s closer to anything in Warrenton,” said Ms. Almquist, a retired local business owner. “We’ve been waiting anxiously for this pharmacy to open. . . . You saved me more than an hour being here. We’re really happy, and I hope it does well. We really need it in town.”
Mr. Kim smiled, thanked her and promised he would give his all to making the pharmacy a success.
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steelernation · April 7, 2017 at 1:17 pm
Having worked as a part-time pharmacist for Wayne Spellman at Marshall IGA pharmacy for MANY years I was very saddened when the pharmacy closed. Marshall residents deserve a local pharmacy - best of luck to this new business! Marshall and its people are the best!
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