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December 17, 2015

Remington Drug Co. under new ownership this month

We know you; we know what you take. The service is better. It’s going to be better for someone’s overall health as well.
— Travis Hale, co-owner
Remington Drug Co.
• What: Oldest pharmacy in Fauquier and one of two independents remaining in the county.

• Where: 207 E. Main St., Remington.

• Owners: Travis Hale and Al Roberts, as of Dec. 1.

• Established: 1913 by William Ashby.

• Employees: 4 full-time, 6 part-time.

• Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

• Phone: 540-439-3247

• Website: www.remingtondrug.com

• Facebook: Click here.



By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Staff Journalist
For more than a century, the locally-owned pharmacy in Remington has provided personalized service.

Remington Drug Co., the oldest pharmacy in Fauquier County, came under new ownership this month.

Wilbur Heflin, who had owned and operated the independent drug store at 207 E. Main St. for 43 years, transferred ownership to pharmacists Travis Hale and Al Roberts on Dec. 1.

“The idea of selling it to a chain never appealed to me, because I thought I would be letting my customers down,” said Mr. Heflin, 76.

The pharmacy had remained in his family since its founding in 1913.

Customers still can buy ice cream sundaes and milkshakes at the marble soda fountain installed in 1930.

Mr. Heflin’s great uncle, William Ashby started the pharmacy. The founder’s brother, Evan Ashby, and Dr. George Russell Cottingham then operated Remington Drug. In 1972, Mr. Heflin bought the pharmacy from Evan Ashby.

Looking to retire, Mr. Heflin provided professional and financial help for the last two years while transferring ownership to Mr. Hale and Mr. Roberts.

“At 70, I was ready to phase out,” said Mr. Heflin, who represented Lee District on the county board of supervisors from 1987 to 1990 and previously served on the Remington Town Council. Over the last two years, “we developed a transition, where I started coming in less . . . still owning the business, paying the bills, but they were running it; so when it came to it, it was seamless. It worked out extremely well.”

“I couldn’t have sold it to greater guys, more excellent pharmacists,” said Mr. Heflin, who still lives in Remington and owns the building.

Mr. Hale and Mr. Roberts own the pharmacy under Apothecary Solutions LLC and rent the 1,500-square-foot space.

Mr. Hale, 33, a Culpeper resident, started working at Remington Drug in 2007.

Mr. Roberts, 62, who lives near Warrenton, began working part-time at the pharmacy in the late 1970s and full-time in 2006 after the closing of Rhodes Drug Store in Warrenton.

In the world of big boxes, such as CVS and Walgreens, independent pharmacies everywhere have struggled to survive. The Marshall pharmacy closed in April after 34 years of business.

Only two independent drug stores remain in Fauquier County: WeCare Pharmacy in Warrenton and Remington Drug.

Mr. Heflin says the business owes its longevity to customers.

“I think it’s always had very strong customer loyalty,” Mr. Heflin said. “There are still those out there that like the attention they get in a family-owned, privately-owned drug store. It’s a relationship that you develop with your customers, that you feel like a big family instead of a business/customer relationship.”

The business has about 1,800 customers, most of whom come from the town’s vicinity, Culpeper or Warrenton. One customer travels from Fairfax.

Heather Rector, 46, who lives in Warrenton, says she grew up coming to the pharmacy and trusts the staff.

“If I have questions, I know they will give me answers and if they don’t know, they can find out for me,” Ms. Rector said. “They’ll inform you more than any other pharmacy will . . . especially if your medicine is not covered by insurance. They won’t just fill it, they’ll give you a call and tell you it’s not covered.”

Personalized care sets Remington Drug apart from chain pharmacies, according to Mr. Hale.

“It’s our primary goal to make sure you feel you are taken care of, your medications are taken care of, and we’ve looked over those to ensure they are going to be safe,” he added. “We know you; we know what you take. The service is better. It’s going to be better for someone’s overall health as well.”

Looking to the future, Mr. Hale hopes to continue to update the business and to provide more options for customers.

“I want to maintain the character, but we need to keep up with what’s going on in pharmacy,” Mr. Hale said. “Pharmacy is really transitioning to a more medication therapy management style.”

That approach offers more service to customers, with pharmacists and doctors maintaining communication and treating people with greater individual attention, according to Mr. Hale.

Lacking the convenience of a drive-thru window, Mr. Hale has updated the pharmacy with online prescription refill requests and a mobile app.

“We have the flexibility to do what’s best for our customer,” he said.

Mr. Hale hopes to increase business by providing delivery service in an area that stretches north to Opal and south to Brandy Station.

The pharmacy also compounds medicines and fills veterinary prescriptions. Customers can order lab tests via the Remington Drug website.

The pharmacy fills about 135 prescriptions a day.

Some think “we tend to be affiliated with higher prices. It’s not true,” Mr. Hale said. “The one flexibility I have is I can sell it for whatever I want. I would like to get your business. I’m going to try to make it beneficial for you to come here to have your business.”

Carty Hanback, a customer from Bealeton, said: “My parents came here, my grandparents came here; it was natural for me. It seems like a smooth transition.”
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Lynn Anstine · December 18, 2015 at 6:42 pm
We, of course, used Remington Drug when we lived in Remington. It was the best!
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