Goldenseal Apothecary
North Andover, MA

Goldenseal Apothecary, North Andover, MA

Goldenseal Apothecary Provides Prescription Services, Vaccines, and a Cozy Café!

Goldenseal Apothecary’s website states ‘How Your Pharmacy Should Be – Find out what it means to be more than just a number.’ IPC recently spoke with Hashim Azam, owner of Goldenseal Apothecary about his store and why he chose to get started in independent pharmacy.

IPC:

What is the history of the store and how did you get involved?

Hashim:

“Like many other pharmacists, I used to work for a big chain. I ended up changing direction and opening a retail pharmacy because I wanted more one-on-one customer interaction and I liked the idea of having a soda fountain. Being able to provide a service and really be a part of the community is very important to me. In the chain environment I didn’t feel I was able to serve the community in the way I wanted to. Now I can serve the community and customers in a more in-depth way.

I try to get to know every single one of my patients. We are constantly promoting #morethananumber because that’s our main philosophy. I don’t think you can really practice pharmacy without knowing where the patient is coming from and really personalizing the experience, it’s very important.”

IPC:

Is North Andover your hometown?

Hashim:

“I actually grew up around here, I went to school up the street. It’s cool to be in an area where I am familiar with the community and the town. It’s a familiar town to me and that makes it even better to be able to bring something new and special to the area.”

" It’s nice that people have the option of getting right in and out, or staying awhile and having a coffee at the soda fountain."

IPC:

That’s great that you have a soda fountain; was that there already or did you build that in?

Hashim:

“Absolutely everything here is built from scratch. We had a lot of learning to do, we became educated on food safety and allergens. We went out of our way to make sure we got gourmet coffee, we wanted everything to be the best of the best. We have a barista that used to work at a coffee chain so she’s very experienced. It’s nice that people have the option of getting right in and out, or staying awhile and having a coffee at the soda fountain. It can be hard to get a community excited about something like a new  pharmacy but having the soda fountain has helped a lot. Starting to build relationships over a cup of coffee can really help make valuable, trusting connections. It’s a great way to develop trust and let customers know we are a legitimate alternative to the big chains.”  

IPC:

What is the most rewarding aspect of working in the independent pharmacy industry?

Hashim:

“Definitely the customer relationships and interaction. I’ve had a lot of customers that I’ve been able to help in a way they haven’t been helped before. For whatever reason, they may have been looked over in the past or their pharmacist didn’t take the time to get to know their back story. Little things I can do to improve people’s life and make those personal connections, really makes a difference.”

IPC:

What are some of the challenges your pharmacy has faced?  

"IPC was very helpful with the grand opening event."

Hashim:

“The reimbursements are sometimes a challenge, it’s all about purchasing effectively. When you’re a chain and have more ability to purchase you don’t have to worry as much. Being able to buy drugs at affordable prices makes a big difference to our bottom line and that’s what makes the business thrive.”

IPC:

How has IPC assisted your pharmacy?

Hashim:

“IPC was very helpful with the grand opening event. We also appreciate how valuable you’ve been with getting us good pricing and drugs that are affordable to people. Overall, you’ve been very beneficial and I’m happy to be doing business with you, we will likely be a lifelong customer. There are other places that can provide good pricing but my interactions with IPC and their staff has been exceptional. While we were working on our grand opening there are a lot of things that IPC did that you really didn’t have to do and we definitely appreciate that.”

IPC:

Are there any special features/offerings you’d like to highlight about your store?

Hashim:

 “The soda fountain is very unique, we also have an OTC section and of course excellent pricing.”