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.”
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.
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.”
“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.