Nelson – Nellysford : End Of An Era : Stoney Creek Pharmacy Closes Permanently

©2019 Blue Ridge Life : Photos By Tommy Stafford : Movers tear down shelves and haul them out of Stoney Creek Pharmacy in Nellysford, Virginia on Friday afternoon - May 31, 2019. After 32 years in existence at several locations it's finally closed.
©2019 Blue Ridge Life : Photos By Tommy Stafford : Movers tear down shelves and haul them out of Stoney Creek Pharmacy in Nellysford, Virginia on Friday afternoon – May 31, 2019. After 32 years in existence at several locations the pharmacy closed for good.

Nelson County, Virginia

Back in December of 2017 we told you about Bob Ladd’s return to the Nellysford Pharmacy he’d started about 3 decades earlier. Bob bought the store and hoped to turn it around and keep it operating for locals in the area. Sadly within the past several months Bob had to make the very difficult decision to close the store permanently.

“It all really started with Dollar General. I’m not blaming Dollar General, but facts are facts, knocking 4000.00 dollars of profit out of the store. And I wasn’t buying as much so my wholesaler took a 3000.00 discount away. That’s 7000.00 right there. Then insurance companies started charging these crazy fees to all pharmacists, called DIR fees. It’s costing me about 75,000.00 a year that I wasn’t paying two years ago. This store lost about 100,000.00 in 2018.”


Stoney Creek Pharmacy owner Bob Ladd talks with Verizon on Friday – May 31, 2019. He was having all calls forwarded to CVS in Waynesboro where prescriptions would be handled for customers of the Nellysford pharmacy.


With Bob closing Stoney Creek Pharmacy it brings the end of a era. One that lasted 3 decades.

“Had I come in here in the beginning and been able to, I didn’t even try, to negotiate a lower lease I might have made it. And not paid as much for the business. I might have made it. I didn’t see those as options and my pro forma, and I’ve done dozens of them, showed me paying all of my bills, paying myself, and having money left over. It didn’t happen.”

Stoney Creek Pharmacy was moved to its final location after the late Cheryl Tompkins bought and then moved it from the old Afton Family Medicine building back to Nellysford.

The late Cheryl Tompkins and some of the original crew at Stoney Creek Pharmacy in March of 2011 a few years after she purchased the long running pharmacy and moved it back to Nellysford, VA.


The late Cheryl Tompkins (an avid motorcycle rider) with a friend in front of the old Stoney Creek Pharmacy in Afton in June of 2005. The pharmacy moved back to Nellysford in 2006 after she purchased the operation. It closed permanently May 31, 2019.

Cheryl died in February of 2013 after a long battle with cancer. The store went through several ownership changes after her death until Bob Ladd stepped back in and bought the pharmacy he originally owned decades ago.

“This business has been here 32 years, it’s moved three times, but we’ve accumulated a lot of stuff. It bothers me they won’t have jobs here. They are all going to have jobs if they want them I think. And I helped a couple move on. The other thing that bothers me with customers / patients is they will have go quite a distance now to get prescriptions filled. And it was that way, by-the-way, back in the mid 80s. It’s come full circle.”


Boxes were being taped up and moved out on Friday – May 31, 2019 as Stoney Creek Pharmacy closed for good.


A sign on the door at Stoney Creek Pharmacy tells customers where their prescriptions had been moved to the CVS in Waynesboro. Friday – May 31, 2019

“It bothers me the geriatric patients, depend on other people to get their prescriptions. It’s not a pleasant feeling, it’s worse than melancholy, I feel a bit of a failure, but I know I’m not. If I could have held out till November, I could have rented a smaller space. In the last 6 months I’ve borrowed 60,000.00 dollars here against this business to operate it.”

After taking the summer off Bob tells me he will decide what he’s going to do next fall and winter. He still owns and operates two other pharmacies in other locations.

It truly is the end of an era here. Happy Trails Bob, it was a long run.


Additional memories and a look back on some of the pharmacy history by clicking here. 






  1. Tommy thank you for this frank and good article! As I am cleaning out the pharmacy many things cross my mind. In the front of my mind is the fact that my son Tyler was raised here and feels he could not have grown up in a better place. His mom and I were both health professionals here, very involved in the community in several ways. What today’s health care has done is take the personal touch away from everywhere not just small communities but we feel it the worst here, especially when the profession/business is lost. The biggest problem is we as patients have lost our voice, we do what our insurance companies tell us to do or else. Little do most people know how much things have changed for single operators, in our case about a 20% loss in prescription profits or half as much as 45 years ago. Pharmacy has for the most part become a service business but unlike so many other service businesses we have insurance determining what we get paid…thus the downfall of small town pharmacy….sad and not really care is it?!?


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