HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - A pharmacy that's been a legacy in Richmond for 182 years, will fill its last prescription in less than a week.
Blair's Drug Store off the Mechanicsville Turnpike in Henrico is going out of business on Monday. The shop's current owner, Berkley Rayfield, says his small business is getting crushed by the larger chain stores, and rising health care costs.
Everybody in the East Highland Park neighborhood knows Blair's. Blair's not only has a pharmacy, but a grill and soda shop, just like back in the day. However, customers who have been coming here for decades, will now have to find a new place to get their medicine, and a sandwich.
"We really have gotten close with a lot of the customers," said Rayfield, of his steady flow of customers.
Blair's Drug Store opened in 1833 on Main Street in Richmond. Nearly 200 years later, and countless memories shared around the food counter, Blair's is closing. Rayfield says the family-owned shop can no longer compete with the big chain pharmacies.
"It's like the environment for a small business to survive in health care is vanishing," continued Rayfield.
Rayfield says the rising cost of prescriptions is literally putting him out of business. "Some drugs have increased 500 to 1000 percent overnight."
Berkley is already clearing shelves.
"I'm upset because they're running my people out of business here… And this is the only drug store I've dealt with for 35 years," said a faithful customer by the name of "Shorty."
It's an unwelcome change for many, especially those who welcomed familiar faces behind the counter.
"For a lot of customers, this is the only store they've ever had their prescriptions filled at," added Rayfield.
Blair's Drug Store is passing on all of its prescriptions and medicine inventory, to a nearby Walgreens.
Rayfield says according to his research, Blair's is the oldest running pharmacy in Virginia.
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