B&W Pharmacy in Beverly fully reopens
BEVERLY — Friday was the wind-up of a long year for the B&W Pharmacy.
On the night of Saturday, Aug. 4, 2018, part of the roof of the building on Dietz Lane fell in. It was a disaster but also the beginning of a new phase for the 47-year old business that might not have otherwise happened, co-owner Missy Huck said.
“It happened, thankfully, when the store was closed, so nobody was hurt,” she said. “That was Saturday night, and we still opened on Sunday, thanks to some amazing help from the community.”
R.W. Miller Electric rerouted the wiring to restore power, a temporary wall was built to divide the affected area — more than a third of the store — from the intact part in the back. Because the damaged area included the entrance at the front of the store, a neighboring business, Wainwright’s Fine Jewelry, allowed a door to be installed between the two stores to allow B&W customers access.
“Steve Wainwright has been great, allowing our customers to go through his store,” Huck said.
By April, the store had been rebuilt with modern architecture, new lines of merchandise and better organization. On Friday morning, it was being prepared for a grand re-opening.
The structural problem originated from a leak in the roof that, unknown to the staff, had allowed water to soak the trusses on the gable roof. It took two years or more for the rot to invisibly weaken the trusses to the failure point, she said.
“When it happened, we had to decide whether to rebuild, but it was such a part of the community, and people’s jobs were involved, and we just weren’t willing to sacrifice that,” Huck said. In the end, it was an opportunity to remake the store.
“This new design, it’s what we would have wanted all along, it forced us to rethink things, it was something we wanted to do but wouldn’t have done if it hadn’t been for this,” she said. “We picked up some new lines of merchandise, got in some all-natural brands, we were able to look at things differently.”
The rebuilding work was finished near the end of April, she said.
Gesturing down the 11,000 square feet of space, with widely space aisles, high ceilings and bright track lighting, she said, “This is what the customers want, and it’s a finely tuned layout, with the fun stuff, candles, cards, jewelry in the front and the medical things as you go toward the pharmacy at the back.”
It’s at least a match for any urban chain drug store. At the front customers can find anything from wind chimes, candles and salt lamps to kitchenware, household goods and cosmetics. A large clothing rack holds T-shirts and other merchandise for Fort Frye Cadet and Waterford Wildcat supporters — the B&W in the name stands for Beverly and Waterford — and a big section of one wall displays Ohio State Buckeyes items.
Alicia Simms and her 2-year-old son, Hudson, were having a look at the toys Friday morning, while Hudson occasionally tried out a nearby child’s rocking chair, finished in red enamel.
“The store looks awesome, it’s definitely updated, easier to find things, it just feels way more spacious,” said Simms, a regular customer.
Jay Arnold, 67, has lived in the Beverly area all his life and shopped frequently at B&W.
“It’s gorgeous, an outstanding design,” he said. “It feels homey as well, and that says a lot about the people who own it. It’s much more than a pharmacy.”
Arnold enjoys home wine-making.
“They’ve got better supplies than most wine shops,” he said.
As an independent community pharmacy, Huck said, B&W has a deep relationship with its customers.
“We know them by name, we know their families, which schools their kids go to, we treat them like they’re our own family,” she said. “I like to say we’re rebuilt, remodeled, and remarkable.”
The store employs more than 20 people, she said.
“They run a tight ship and take pride in what they do,” she said. “We have a perseverant staff, they’ve been real troupers through all of this.
The grand re-opening began Friday and is scheduled to run through Thursday. It includes regular drawings for discounts up to 50 percent on merchandise.
Michael Kelly can be reached at email@example.com