By Jan Rahn
Chamber’s featured spotlight business of the month is Grant Pharmacy, with owner Jorje Geisert giving a background presentation to membership during their regular monthly meeting on Thursday, Sept. 20.
Geisert described the various locations taking place through the years, with the current site being in the 200 block of Central.
A pharmacy has existed in Grant for many years. In the early 70s it was owned by Darold Raburn where present-day Grant Auto Parts/NAPA is located.
Geisert recalled working there during high school, reminiscing about the soda fountain and the thought of pursuing a pharmacy career. A few years later, she graduated with a Doctorate of Pharmacy degree from the University of Nebraska Medical Center.
When she decided to return to Grant to practice, other young adults from the area were setting up practices “back home” also, including Dr. Cliff Colglazier and Dr. Ruth Demmel in medicine, Dr. Tim Meyer in ophthalmology and Dr. Marvin Swan in dentistry.
Geisert said she asked for a job at the pharmacy and was welcomed aboard.
During that time, the pharmacy was located in the Grant Clinic and the front end was in the main street store, said Geisert. It was a big deal to have an electric typewriter back then. Even though they had commercial pharmaceuticals from all of the big companies, she still used a mortar and pestle on occasion—an item she used for show and tell to fellow chamber members during her presentation.
Geisert can still visualize the products in the store.
“Sy Gossard and Elaine Walrod ruled over four glass counters of high end jewelry, Este Lauder cometics, Fenton glass and a wide variety of perfumes,” she said. “One product we had then that we have now is Russell Stover candy!”
Out of the blue in 1980, Raburn approached Geisert with the offer to sell her the business.
“I was 23 years old. Yikes!” she said. This year marks her 32nd year of practicing in her own store.
In 1989 the pharmacy department was consolidated into the main street store, which made her life easier with two small children and also made it more convenient for patients.
Computerization of records, many new medicines, generic drugs and insurance has vastly altered the landscape of pharmacy, said Geisert.
“As pharmacists, we don’t compound very much anymore, but we do provide advice and information, as well as dispense the correct dose and form of medication.”
In 2003 the pharmacy was updated with large windows and a new door.
Geisert said she feels very fortunate to be able to serve the people of Perkins County. Even though statistically the elderly suffer more chronic illnesses and require the most medicine, all age groups become ill. Thus, a wide range of medication passes over the counter at the hands of Geisert and Pam Young, who she claims to be “the best pharmacy tech in the world.” Joining them is Ashlee Smith who handles checkout, ordering and displays.
At the end of her presentation, Geisert announced to Chamber members that Grant Floral and Grant Pharmacy will now be under one roof. Her daughter-in-law who ran the Grant Floral store across the street has accepted a new position following maternity leave, so fresh flowers will now be available at the pharmacy, as will a specialty area of plants.