By Clint Parker
Weaverville – Well, ‘all good things must come to an end,’ so the saying goes. On Monday, that was the case for the Weaverville Healthwise Pharmacy, aka to locals as Weaverville Drug Company.
When I first came to town to start covering news in Weaverville around 1999 for the Madison County Sentinel newspaper, the drug store was where Well-Bred Bakery is now. It had the feel of a 1940s pharmacy and soda fountain shop. It was complete with a well-worn soda fountain counter and it took you back to days gone by. There was lots of chrome on that ice cream bar with a big mirror behind the counter. I guess that was so you could watch yourself eat your ice cream and make sure none was left on your face.
Chuck Sprinkle was the owner and while the pharmacy was in Weaverville before Chuck owned it, it always seemed right for Chuck to be the owner. His family had close ties to the town with his granddad owning the drug store at one time, his dad being one of the local doctors and a passed town council member and his brother was the town manager for a short time and director of public works for decades in the town.
For me, the first change came when Chuck moved his store to the post office building, where it is located now in 2001. The character of the drug store changed from the 1940s to more like the 1970s, but the nice friendly service remained the same. The hometown feel was still there.
Then a few years ago, Chuck sold to Smith Pharmacy. Because Smith had roots in the area and looked like the company to keep the pharmacy going with that hometown feel, including the ice cream counter. However, it was not to be and now prescriptions of the longtime client of the local pharmacy has been sold off to Walgreens.
While Weaverville Pharmacy has been an advertiser for years with the paper, I’ve also been a customer of theirs getting my drug needs as well as my ice cream fix at their counters. It’s sad to see them go as I hate to deal with a big chain pharmacy. I live in Madison County, so maybe I hand off my business to another small town pharmacy.
The big chain pharmacy seems so impersonal to me. I could always go in at Weaverville and ask about people’s families and how they were doing. Talk a little town politics and even talk conspiracy theories with at least one of the staff members.
That’s not going to happen with CVS or Walgreens and certainly not at Walmart. No, it’s definitely the end of a multi-decade era for people in Weaverville. Maybe now’s a good time to try and kick my drug habit…I know, check with my doctor first.