The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

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June 17, 2012

Pharmacy a new business for Mount Hope

MOUNT HOPE — Another glimmer of hope in Mount Hope comes in the form of a new pharmacy.

The independently owned Mount Hope Pharmacy, opening in two months, will be the first locally owned business to open in the town in more than five years and will join approximately 20 others in downtown.

“New small businesses have been scarce in Mount Hope,” says town mayor Michael Martin. “However, interestingly, I have had a call just today from someone who is potentially opening (one). I think this is going to happen more and more, because we are expecting company.”

He refers, of course, to the thousands of Boy Scouts who will descend on the area in 2013 during the first National Jamboree held at the Summit Bechtel Reserve.

That was one reason Mount Hope Pharmacy owner Jawed Sherwani decided to locate his new business there. The other reason was a need he perceived in the community.

“I thought it would be really good businesswise and community servicewise,” says Sherwani, who owns pharmacies in South Charleston, Beckley and Oak Hill.

“I think it’s a good thing because we do have so many senior citizens in our community,” says Mount Hope town council member Kathleen Scott. “It will be very helpful for them, especially those that live independently.”

“Mount Hope has needed a pharmacy for a long time,” says resident Juanita Wickline.

The town currently has no pharmacy, and many of its elderly residents do not have transportation options. The pharmacy will offer free delivery to Mount Hope, Pax and Bradley.

“There are a lot of walkers in Mount Hope that don’t drive, so I think it would be a real good thing,” says Mount Hope town council member Ernie Wickline, who remembers the days when residents could find everything they needed in daily life right downtown.

The business will be located at 301 W. Main St., across from the old Tyree Funeral Home. The building used to house a gas station and convenience store remembered fondly in the community as “Lonnie’s.”

It will be only the second business on the north end of town, along with American Hardware. Some residents on the north end say they are under-served, but the pharmacy could ease that feeling.

The pharmacy will offer groceries in coolers like bread, eggs, milk, and frozen vegetables — “basic things you need on a daily basis,” says Sherwani.

He also plans to offer coffee and provide a lobby with TV, based on a town resident’s suggestion.

“This is an independent pharmacy based on local people’s needs,” he says. “Whatever they need, we will provide it. That’s our objective.”

Melanie Tilley of Mount Hope, who is helping Sherwani set up the business, says she is impressed by his dealings with customers at Main Street Pharmacy in Oak Hill.

“He loves to know his patients,” she says. “No matter how busy he is (...) he takes all the time in the world with them. He really takes care of the community and likes to give back.”

“It’s more than a business,” says Sherwani. “You are dealing with human beings with medical needs that are very sensitive. You have to have a heart for them. (...) Trust is very important in that kind of relationship.”

The pharmacy will initially employ a pharmacist, a front end person, and one or two technicians. More could be added if business is good.

They are also planning to offer durable medical supplies in the future.

For home bound patients, the pharmacy will pick up prescriptions, fill them and deliver them back at no charge.

Sherwani says he will make sure the driver is safe.

“We will make it secure, just like when banks transfer money from one place to another, they have laws they have to follow,” he says.

The pharmacy will be open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Mount Hope Pharmacy is encouraging potential customers to fill out patient profiles and insurance information ahead of opening to speed up their processing time. The forms are available in the foyer of Town Hall.

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