1. Why does locally owned matter in a pharmacy?
We are lucky to be in Columbia because Columbia has supported local businesses for a long time. A locally owned pharmacy is important because we can provide excellent customer service, and we actually get to know our patients. We know most of our patients by name, and in my observation during the past 18 years with Kilgore’s, that is very important. They matter to us.
2. What kinds of information can a pharmacist provide to customers?
Pharmacists provide a great service, as we are able to give urgent free advice to anyone who calls or for someone who has questions when he or she picks up his or her prescriptions. We have the references to provide quick and concise answers.
3. Kilgore’s has four owners. How do you divide responsibilities?
In theory, sometimes too many cooks in the kitchen can spoil the proverbial broth, but that’s not true in our case. Each of us has a specific role, and our personalities blend in a most favorable way. We like one another, and we have a good time taking care of Columbia. My predominant role is marketing, advertising and our contributions to the community. Bill Morrissey negotiates our contracts and focuses on numbers for our business. Beth Stubbs oversees our Medicare accreditation and is an authority on our compounding services that we offer. Laura Kingsley excels at team building within our own company so we can focus on our employees.
4. How does Kilgore’s plan to give back to the community in the coming year?
We plan to give back the same way that we always have. We support many great causes in this community, which we will continue do, and we have a community garden next to our Providence location that produces enough food to donate to the Food Bank, the Nora Stewart Learning Center and any one in this community who might want a fresh cucumber or tomato. Our Community Garden last year produced over 1000 pounds of food that was all donated. Next year promises to be even better, as we will support the community that has always shown us such strong support as a business.
5. Kilgore’s is adding a third location in Ashland. When do you know it’s time to expand?
We are very excited about this endeavor, as we recognized a need to take care of our patients in Ashland who commute to us on a daily basis. We are bringing it to them. Plus, status quo isn’t always a good thing, as we felt the need to grow our business. This was the perfect opportunity to do so. Also, in previous years, pharmacists were hard to bring on because there used to be a serious pharmacist shortage. Now that UMKC has a satellite pharmacy program here that is starting to graduate pharmacists, we felt it was the right time to grow.
6. How does Kilgore’s compete with Columbia’s big-box pharmacies?
We are convenient because we offer free delivery inside the city limits, and we have a very fast drive-thru. We can also mail prescriptions to our patients if needed. Our location on Providence is highly visible and convenient, and our Chapel Hill location is right off the beaten path off of Forum Blvd. In Ashland, we will be attached to Moser’s grocery store, which gives a local pharmacy feel to a local grocer.
7. For the new location in Ashland, Kilgore’s will be attached to Moser’s. How and why does Kilgore’s use strategic partnerships like this in its business?
Actually, this is the first strategic partnership we have formed as a business. It was a likely partnership though as a local named grocer, Moser’s, should have a pharmacy connected to it so they can also compete with corporate entity grocery stores.