Boones to return to pharmacy

Published 1:18 am Wednesday, June 10, 2009

When Bruno’s declared bankruptcy last month and closed down the Demopolis Food World store, it did more than put local grocery employees out of work. It closed down a pharmacy that had been open since 1971 and put the future of pharmacists Raymond and Bud Boone into turmoil.

On Tuesday, the Boones announced that they would open their own independent pharmacy in the Chu Clinic building on U.S. Highway 80 West.

“We wanted to be in Demopolis taking care of the people who have taken care of us for more than 38 years,” said Raymond. “When Dr. (Ronnie) Chu actually started this building project, he introduced the idea to us then. We liked where we were at until it was taken away from us.”

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“It was always our intention to be here in Demopolis forever,” Bud said. “Under the circumstances, we had to find another venue. This should be convenient to people on both sides of town.”

The future pharmacy is vacant now, but should be ready to open in six to eight weeks, according to Raymond. It faces Wal-Mart on the west side of the Chu Clinic building, and will be called Boone’s Pharmacy.

“It will be just a basic pharmacy,” Raymond said. “Just medications, and out front will be cough or cold medicine, seasonal items and a card selection. We’re going to grow with the needs of the community.”

“The intention is to handle sick people,” Bud said, “and that’s it. Those who come out of the doctor’s office and need assistance, we’ll be there. Prescriptions, we’ll be there.”

Raymond sought to keep a job as a pharmacist in Demopolis, but was unable to find a place where he felt comfortable.

Raymond said there were a number of licenses to apply for before the pharmacy can be opened. Building office and shelf areas, installing lights and phones and stocking the shelves will also take some time.

“Optimistically, we can be ready to go in five weeks,” he said. “Realistically, it’s probably closer to six to eight weeks. It just takes time to get the registrations and everything done.”

When Food World closed its pharmacy last month, it was devastating to the workers and family members who worked there, some who began when Food World was Food Fair.

Raymond and Bud Boone are taking a huge step towards staying in the business and staying close to the people they have served over four decades.