By Thomas Sellers Jr.
Peggy and Leroy Boatwright opened a Millington institution on Nov. 1, 1957.
Now in its 60th year of operation Boatwright Pharmacy is ready to celebrate with familiar faces and new customers the way they know best.
“Involvement in the community, genuine care about our customers and patients,” Dr. Steven Boatwright said. “We try to be invested in the community and involved in the community. We just try to treat folks the right way.
“We’re right in the middle of Millington,” he added. “I think we’re a fixture here. I think folks know we’re here for them. We’re always hoping they know we have their best interest in heart.”
That philosophy started with Steven’s parents in 1957. All of Peggy’s and Leroy’s children Steven, Laura and Emily got involved in the family business becoming pharmacist.
Steven has taken the reigns of Boatwright Pharmacy and has transformed the 7899 C Street location into a combination of an old-fashion drug store atmosphere with new-age technology.
Part of the old-fashion philosophy is community involvement outside of the pharmacy.
“An independent pharmacy is like a dinosaur now,” Leroy said. “We’re a dying breed. So it nice to have people still respect us and we appreciate your business and dedication.
“We’re involved in certain things like the schools and churches,” he added. “It’s important. We think the children are being neglected in a lot of areas. They need our help.”
Boatwright’s dedication to the youth of the Millington area helped the Pharmacy win the 2016 Millington Area Chamber of Commerce Heart & Hand Award. The Boatwright family has racked up several honors throughout the community including Dr. Leroy being honored as The Millington Star’s 2014 Man of the Year.
Recently at his 91st birthday celebration many old customers/friends stopped by to wish him well. Those familiar faces walked through the recently renovated front area.
“The front of the store, we’ve change that,” Steven recalled. “Years ago I just knew we either needed to minimize the front end or make it to were it was something really different or special. That’s what we decided to do when we did this thing.”
In April 2014, Boatwright Pharmacy hosted a grand opening in celebration of the remodeled Gift Department. From greeting cards to jewelry, the front of Boatwright is a good place to shop for a holiday gift for any occasion.
Steven, co-owner and operations manager of Boatwright Pharmacy, is a member of both the National Community Pharmacists Association and the Tennessee Pharmacists Association. He is always keeping his eye on the latest and best technology to better serve the Millington area.
“As for the back with the prescriptions, we invested in new equipment and new technology to keep everything current,” he said. “We did that as well.”
One of the latest arrival to the Boatwright Pharmacy family is the Parata Pass 500.
“The machine has cartridges in it that hold pills,” Boatwright Certified Pharmacy Tech Janet Hayes said. “It will take the plastic (a roll of plastic is in there) takes everything and puts it in a pouch. Prints what the medications are on there, the patient’s name and all the pertinent information on there. It just wraps its up and spits it out.”
The Parata Pass 500 arrived to Boatwright almost 3 years ago and is located in the pharmacist lab. All a patient has to do is rip open the plastic package with the information printed on the outside by the machine. The patient follows the direction on the label and take the medication that was placed inside the package by the proper amount. Steven said at the end of the day Boatwright Pharmacy will continue to make improvements to benefit customers and patients. But he promised one thing will not change.
“With all those changes, the one thing as long as I’m here, we’re never change the customer service and the friendly faces,” he said. “They go above and beyond. That’s what I preach. Why would somebody want to come here instead of going to one of my competitors? It’s because we go above and beyond. I got that mentality of family since I’ve been here for so long.”
Family started and has kept Boatwright going strong for 60 years. Steven is proud to carry on the family tradition and name.
“It means a great deal,” he said. “My Mom and Dad started this 60 years ago with a lot of hard work. I’m very proud of that and the legacy they’ve left behind. My Dad is still with us bringing it forward. I see how well thought of he is and respected. I just hope I can be half the person he is.”
Steven is one of the faces of Boatwright Pharmacy and is active in the community. He said that relationship of Boatwright and Millington will continue as long as the Pharmacy is under his guidance.
“It makes me feel great because we’ve always tried to be entrenched in this community and apart of this community and support this community,” he concluded. “It feels good to think of Millington and Boatwright as one.”
Boatwright is located at 7899 C Street in Millington. Follow Boatwright on Facebook and Twitter and for more information, call 872-2214.