October 22

End of an era: Maple Leaf Pharmacy is closed



Bill McNary, Maple Leaf Pharmacy owner, being interviewed by KING-5 in February 2010 after his pharmacy was robbed the previous December.

The Maple Leaf Pharmacy, a central fixture in the neighborhood, is closed after 27 years.

Owner Bill McNary has sold the business to Walgreens Pharmacy, and will work part time at the nearby Walgreens at Roosevelt Way Northeast and Northeast Northgate Way.

“The whole thing is kind of bittersweet,” McNary said Thursday morning. The pharmacy closed for good Wednesday evening.

“I’ll miss my customers, although I hope most will come along with me to Walgreens. And I’m so thankful to all the people in the neighborhood who supported me.”

McNary said his database of prescriptions is being transferred to the Walgreens, and that customers should receive seamless service there.

The pharmacy  moved to its current location, at 8830 Roosevelt Way N.E., in 1996.

Geraldine Crews, pharmacy head technician who has worked with McNary for over a quarter-century, has taken a similar job with Group Health in Factoria.

McNary, who recently turned 60, said there were several factors in his deciding to sell.

“One reason is to slow down,” he said. “I’m tired of working 60 hours a week.

“Then, there’s been an increase in  regulations – an added burden to trying to take care of our customers.”

Decreasing margins in the pharmacy business cut into his ability to add staff, he said. In addition, as a compounding pharmacy, part of his business is being able to provide unique drugs to his patients, but coming new regulations there, too, will hurt.

“It will have a severe impact on our compounding business. So, economically it made made sense to sell at this time and start working just four days a week.”

From an earlier story in Maple Leaf Life:

The Maple Leaf Pharmacy also has a bit of history under its roof.

The landlord at the time bought the building in 1950, and was shot at during the many robberies that occurred.

“When we remodeled, there were bullet holes in the cabinets where shots had been fired,” Crews said. “Back then, pharmacy owners used to sleep in their stores at night because of robberies. It was much worse back then.”

In Crews’ time at the pharmacy, she has experienced seven robberies.

Other earlier stories about the pharmacy:

‘It’s a robbery! He has a gun!’

Dick Jackman, pharmacist to Maple Leaf for decades

About the author 

Sara W

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