An iconic, family-owned business in downtown Seymour soon will close its doors for good after serving the community for more than 40 years.
Bevers Family Pharmacy at 105 W. Second St. has been purchased by Walgreens, said Brett Bevers, store manager and son of owner and pharmacist Bill Bevers.
The pharmacy, which opened at its current location in 1987, will close March 29, leaving just one independent pharmacy in Jackson County — Family Drug in Brownstown, owned by Scott Butt.
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All of Bevers’ prescriptions will automatically transfer to Walgreens at 319 E. Tipton St. in Seymour, Brett Bevers said. Customers can then request their prescriptions be filled at another pharmacy if they want.
Other local pharmacy options include Wal-Mart, CVS and Jay C Plus in Seymour, and Family Drug and CVS in Brownstown.
The business is closing for a multitude of reasons, but mainly so his father can retire, Brett Bevers said.
“He needs to be able to retire and enjoy however many years God gives him on this Earth in peace and happiness,” Brett Bevers said. “Unfortunately, peace and happiness are not synonymous with operating an independent pharmacy in today’s day and age.”
Bill Bevers operated two different pharmacies under the Baldwin’s Drug Store name, one on West Second Street right across from the current building and the other was on East Tipton Street at Walnut and Tipton streets.
“It’s my understanding that he had ownership of those two pharmacies beginning in 1975,” Brett Bevers said.
Bevers Pharmacy was established in 1978.
Brett Bevers has worked at the business since he was in high school, when he started as a medicine delivery boy. He then returned and managed the deli in 2006 and took over as company manager in 2008.
“Working here and operating the place, I’ve had my share of good memories, but I think my favorite memories are coming in here as a kid to see my dad and his work family,” Brett Bevers said. “There are so many wonderful people that have worked for us throughout the years.”
Some of Bevers’ key pharmacy staff will make the transition to work at Walgreens.
“We have at least three of our employees who I know will be going to work there,” he said. “That will help make this transition much better for the community.”
The business generally has around 30 employees, whose futures weighed heavy on the Bevers’ minds and hearts when making the decision, Brett Bevers said.
“The weight on our shoulders has felt immense throughout this whole process,” he said. “Thankfully, the majority of our employees already have a good idea of what they can move forward with, and I’m sure the rest will find employment quickly.”
A representative from Walgreens was not able to speak about the acquisition at this time.
Besides the pharmacy, Bevers also is the location of a popular lunchtime deli and eatery serving soups, sandwiches, salads, fountain drinks, ice cream and breakfast, a general store and gift shop and a home health care business and breast cancer boutique, all of which will close, too, leaving another empty downtown storefront.
The last day for the deli will be March 25. The other services will close as inventory is sold, likely by the end of May or beginning of June.
At this time, there are no plans for the building, owned by Karen Grindlay, who operates Grindlay and Grindlay tax preparation business on the second floor. The building also provides space for an employee recruiting office, a massage therapist and an investment services office.
Grindlay said she has no intentions of selling the property and wants to lease the space to a retail business, restaurant or professional service as soon as possible.
Brett Bevers said with the business closing, his father will be able to fully retire and enjoy “his three Gs … golfing, gambling and most important … grandkids.”
As for his own future plans, Brett Bevers said he plans to finish up cosmetology school at Hair Force Beauty Academy in Seymour and join friend Ryan Burnside at Burnside Barbers on East Fourth Street.
“So if anyone is looking for a new hairstylist to help them look good and feel good, you will hopefully find me there,” he said.
Many Bevers customers said they were sad to hear the news but expressed their appreciation for the business and the Bevers family and understanding of the tough decision to close.
Jaime Greenwood Murphy of Granger, formerly of Seymour, remembers working at Bevers when she was in high school.
“I loved the regulars that came in,” she said. “I learned about customer service and caring for people often when they felt their worst while they waited on their meds. They were very caring as an employer.”
Natasha Langford of Seymour said she met Bill Bevers several years ago when she was looking for a new pharmacy for her family.
“I was amazed after we switched to Bevers at how kind, caring and thoughtful the staff there was toward us,” she said.
The staff often went “above and beyond” to make sure she was taken care of, Langford said.
“Calling and getting approval to dispense medication a week early when I was going to be out of town for several weeks, looking up discounts and coupons for medication without being asked when the out-of-pocket cost was higher than normal, even telling me not to worry when I couldn’t make it in until the last five minutes to pick up medication for a sick child,” she said.
But most importantly, knowing her by name and treating her like family, she added.
“They have cared about the community just as much as they have always cared about their customers,” Langford said. “Words cannot express how sad I am to seem them close.”
Brett Bevers said the family can’t say thank you enough to its customers and the community.
“I hope our family and business has enriched people’s lives as much as they all have enriched ours,” he said. “I pray that people will remember Bevers Pharmacy as a place that truly cared for their well-being and their families.”