News Blog for Seattle's Maple Leaf Neighborhood

 

Surprise! The (non-existent) Maple Leaf Pharmacy is No. 1 in Seattle!

March 29th, 2017 by Mike

An interesting email came in overnight at 2:25 a.m.

“FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

“Maple Leaf Pharmacy Receives 2017 Seattle Award

“Seattle Award Program Honors the Achievement

“SEATTLE March 22, 2017 — Maple Leaf Pharmacy has been selected for the 2017 Seattle Award in the Pharmacies category by the Seattle Award Program.”

Only one pharmacy in the area is selected for the award each year, according to a fact sheet from the Seattle Award Program.

And in Seattle in 2017, it’s the Maple Leaf Pharmacy.

Which went out of business in October 2015 after decades at the corner of Roosevelt Way Northeast and Northeast 89th Street.

That location is now occupied by The Little Gym.

The full press release about this exciting award is here.

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Maxine’s is latest Maple Leaf storefront to close

September 26th, 2016 by Mike

Maxine’s Floral Design, in business since 1983, is the latest Maple Leaf business to shut its doors.

Although the retail store at 8811 Roosevelt Way N.E. will close this week, the business will remain open online and with the same phone number, (206) 523-4200, an employee said.

There is some possibility of a restaurant opening there.

That block of Roosevelt is seeing a lot of change.

Across the street, Wild Root Salon closed in early summer (and is apparently being replaced by a private business) and the Maple Leaf Pharmacy closed last October (it’s being replaced by The Little Gym).

In previous years, on the same block, Between Cultures gallery closed, as did Snow Goose gallery.

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Wild Root salon latest Maple Leaf fixture to exit – update

May 26th, 2016 by Mike

Wild Root Salon & Spa on Roosevelt Way Northeast will be closing by mid-June.

Owner Donna Morton, who has been operating the site, at 8814 Roosevelt Way Northeast, since at least 2001, confirmed she is selling the building. (Disclosure: Donna has been cutting my hair since 2003.)

We’re waiting for further details. From Donna: [Read more →]

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What’s going in at the Maple Leaf Pharmacy?

January 19th, 2016 by Mike

Since the Maple Leaf Pharmacy, a fixture in the neighborhood for decades, closed in October, we’ve had many ask: “What will replace it?”

Three months later, the answer remains: No one knows.

The pharmacy site is a prime neighborhood retail location at the corner of Northeast 89th Street and Roosevelt Way Northeast.

Bob Jackman – son of the original pharmacist owner “Dick” Jackman, who died in 2012 – was in town over the holidays, but hasn’t found a new occupant.

In an email, Bob Jackman wrote:

“So far I have talked with two people and not found anything yet. I am making arrangements to be able to show the space and then I am going to put a sign in the window.

“I would like to get something in there that works well in the neighborhood and with the (next-door Roosevelt) Alehouse. I guess we’ll see how it goes. I have been reading the Seattle Times every day and Seattle seems to be doing pretty well so I am hopeful that good things will happen.”

Readers have variously wished for a grocery store, another restaurant, a bakery and a butcher store/deli at the site. Oh, and a used bookstore. And a small pet store. And a(nother) coffee shop.

Other ideas, proposals? You can reach Jackman through comments here.

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End of an era: Maple Leaf Pharmacy is closed

October 22nd, 2015 by Mike

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

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Dick Jackman, pharmacist to Maple Leaf for decades

August 21st, 2012 by Mike

A memorial service was held this morning for a man known to generations of Maple Leaf residents, William Richard “Dick” Jackman, who co-founded what is now the Maple Leaf Pharmacy.

“Everybody knew him. Old-timers tell us stories all the time about how he delivered to their houses,” said Geraldine Crews, head technician at the pharmacy, 8830 Roosevelt Way N.E.

From his obituary in The Seattle Times:

He began work at Craigen Pharmacy in Seattle then partnered with Dave Richardson to open North Roosevelt Pharmacy in the Maple Leaf area. He became sole owner in 1973 and continued to run North Roosevelt (now Maple Leaf Pharmacy) until 1990. He is remembered as an earnest health care provider, beloved by his customers and employees. He often would get up in the middle of the night to deliver needed medications in an emergency.

A slide show of photos from his life can be viewed at the Acacia Funeral Home website.

“He was probably one of the most dedicated and caring pharmacists I’ve ever met,” said Bill McNary, now the owner of the Maple Leaf Pharmacy.

Jackman died June 25. He was 85 years old.

“Dick was the most ethical man I’ve ever met,” said Marlene Fiorito, who spent 46 years working at the pharmacy, beginning in 1953 when she was 15. “We were open seven days a week, until 9 p.m. at first,” she remembers.

Fiorito can tell rollicking stories about her years there with Jackman – including at least one robbery. “We really did care for one another.”

She said she remained at the pharmacy through several owners because they asked her to. “I knew all the customers,” she said. “I ended up staying my whole career.”

From the obituary:

He is survived by his loving wife of 62 years, Colleen, his children Robert (Janice), Richard (Sherrie), Ronald (Linda), Jeanelle Lund, William Jr. (Aimee), and grandchildren Will and Emma Lund, Gwyneth, James and Austin Jackman. Dick is also survived by brother, Don (Margrette), and sister, Gwen Buchan (Alan).

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This shows police arresting a robber, not a burglar

February 11th, 2011 by Mike

Update: King County prosecutors on Feb. 11 charged John Martin Kessler, 62 years old and a customer at the pharmacy for about a decade, with this robbery. The court papers also state that on Feb. 8, a day before this robbery, he tried but failed to rob the Chase Bank at 1501 Fourth Ave. According to the documents, Kessler stated the reason for the crimes is his addiction to crack cocaine.

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This photograph, taken by a neighbor two days ago in the 1200 block of Northeast 90th Street, actually shows police arresting the man suspected of robbing the Maple Leaf Pharmacy a few minutes earlier.

A commenter on our original post assumed it was the man who had burglarized his home earlier that day.

But police say it’s the suspect who they believe robbed the pharmacy with a knife at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 9. In court Thursday his bail was set at $25,000, the King County Prosecutor’s office said.

The pharmacy was robbed at gunpoint in December 2009. Just last month the gunman was sentenced to 15 years in prison.

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Maple Leaf Pharmacy armed robber sentenced

January 22nd, 2011 by Mike

The man convicted of robbing the Maple Leaf Pharmacy a little more than a year ago was sentenced Friday to 15 years in prison.

“You’ve got to work on the drug addiction and the mental health issues. … When you get out of prison, if you don’t stay clean and sober (the federal probation officer) will snatch you out of your shoes and you’ll be right back here,” the judge told Jacob Harley Shook.

Shook, 30, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Marsha J. Pechman, who also gave him five years of supervised release,  for two counts of pharmacy robbery, one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm and one count of brandishing a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence.

Shook was originally charged in state court, but asked to have his case transferred to federal court so that he could take advantage of drug treatment and rehabilitation offerings in federal prison and with the federal probation system.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office, in a release, stated:

According to records filed in the case, on December 21, 2009 and December 29, 2009, SHOOK robbed two North Seattle pharmacies at gunpoint. In the first robbery, of the Maple Leaf Pharmacy on Roosevelt Way, SHOOK shoved one pharmacy assistant to the floor with the barrel of his gun. Then he pulled another assistant to her feet, stuck a semi-automatic pistol in her back and ordered her to give him oxycodone. SHOOK pointed the gun at the pharmacist and demanded a bag for the drugs he was stealing: Morphine Sulfate, Hydromorphone, Oxycontin, Meperefab and Oxycodone.

SHOOK was arrested later on the 29th during a traffic stop. Officers recognized SHOOK’s tattoos as matching those on the pharmacy robber. After a foot chase, SHOOK was arrested hiding in a garage. The gun used in the robberies as well as some of the drugs were recovered.

Shook was also convicted of  robbing a Walgreens Pharmacy on 15th Avenue Northwest. Since 2000,  Shook has had 14 felony convictions; seven of them are for possession of stolen property, and three are for car theft. He also has convictions for burglary, writing bad checks and eluding police officers. In 1998 he was convicted of unlawful possession of a firearm.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Andy Colasurdo told the court: “As two of the victim pharmacists expressed in their letters. … Shook’s actions during the course of the robberies changed their lives forever and it is safe to assume that the same is true for the other victims and witnesses as well.”

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