Photo - Ray Mitchum, left, and Garth Hinze working in the M & S Pharmacy compounding lab.
Photo by Barbara Holl.
M & S Pharmacy named Medium Business of the Year
by Barbara Holl, Executive Assistant
Nacogdoches County Chamber
The Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce has named M & S Pharmacy as the Medium Business of the Year - one of three Gary Justice Business Excellence Awards presented annually. The business owners will be recognized at the chamber’s 92nd Annual Meeting and Membership Banquet, Tuesday, Sept. 24, beginning at 6 p.m. in the Hotel Fredonia Convention Center.
M & S Pharmacy was founded in the mid-1950s by Max and Sam Stripling.
Legend has it the M & S stands for Max and Sam or perhaps Medical and Surgical.
Incorporated in 1979, the business was run for almost three decades by pharmacist/owner Wayne Davis, who sold the business in 2007 to 22 employees through an Employee Stock Ownership Plan, or ESOP. David Bradley was named pharmacist in charge. In 2010 Bradley, along with Garth and Holly Hinze bought out the ESOP. In 2012 they restructured the company and created a new ESOP with Garth and Holly holding the controlling interest. Holly is one of six registered pharmacists on staff.
The business has grown by over 50 percent in the last decade and now employs 42 workers. The pharmacy moved to its present location at 917 E. Austin St. in 1998, having served Nacogdoches in at least two prior locations. One earlier home was inside a medical clinic that is now the Nacogdoches County Chamber facility at 2516 North Street. The most recent prior location was in the University Park Plaza Shopping Center.
M & S Pharmacy sent four employees to cutting-edge compounding training to provide Nacogdoches with a licensed and certified compound prescription facility. The pharmacy regularly fills special compound prescriptions for those who require special formulations not available from large manufacturers.
“You tell us what you need and we will make it,” said Hinze.
The compounding lab provides prescriptions in different strengths, dosages, flavors and without dyes, lactose, sugar, alcohol, gluten, or casein for individuals with allergies or sensitivities. The pharmacy provides free delivery inside the loop, serving customers unable to pick up prescriptions.
Long-time customer Bruce Lanham says M&S is “always very friendly and customer oriented. I feel confident when recommending M & S Pharmacy to family and friends.”
Like all pharmacies, M & S faces challenges from constant changes in governmental pharmaceutical regulations, price controls and insurance-related restraints. Providing excellent customer service and product selection can be a key strategy in a difficult business environment.
Customer Denise McDonald says “I started using M & S Pharmacy because they are locally-owned and have a great location. I have stayed with them because of the caring attitude and ease of speaking with the pharmacists. And of course I love the gift shop.”
M & S will soon introduce a pharmaceutical-grade cosmetic line ranging from acne treatment to anti-aging serums. Plans include expanding the gift shop and the compounding lab.
After nearly six decades of serving the community, the employee-owners of M & S see innovation and growth in their future.
“Nacogdoches is a great fit for us,” Hinze said. “We have the wealth and talent of Stephen F. Austin State University, we appreciate the community and city history, and we are able to form bonds with our customers. M & S Pharmacy longs to go above and beyond to serve our customers and honor the traditions of our incredible community.”
The Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce 92nd Annual Meeting & Membership Banquet is chaired by Betty Shinn. Reservations are required and tickets may be purchased by contacting the chamber at 936-560-5533.
Award recipients for 2013 are:
Mayor Roger Van Horn, Citizen of the Year sponsored by Tipton Ford, Inc.
Jack Backers College Bookstore, Small Business of the Year sponsored by Suddenlink Communications.
M & S Pharmacy, Medium Business of the Year sponsored by Regions Bank.
Drewery Construction, Large Business of the Year sponsored by R&K Distributors, Inc.