Sale of Vandalia Drug Means the End of an Era [Audio-Photos]
(Vandalia, Mo)--The days are numbered for the nickel cup of coffee in Vandalia...
Long-time pharmacist Joe Salois says the sale of Vandalia Drug means the end of an era. The 'mom and pop' pharmacy has been purchased by Niemann Foods. Salois says the transition to County Market Pharmacy will leave behind a lot of nostalgic memories...
"We're going to miss the little piece of 'Americana' I call it, that we've had here for as far as we can go back, really, back into the 40's at least, that there's been a soda fountain and a nickel coffee being sold in this building and there's been pharmacies for at least that long here in town."
Joe explains what he will miss the most:
"Just watching the community come and go throughout the day at the front counter, and the closeness we've developed with so many of our patrons that come in on a daily basis. It's just become part of our life."
Salois’ roots in Vandalia Drug were planted in the late 70’s and came full circle when he and wife Debbie bought the business in 1995…
"In pharmacy school, you have to serve so many hours in the community pharmacies...the pharmacy I worked at for three summers was Vandalia Drug. I lived in Bowling Green at the time, and the middle summer of those three there was a new girl working at the front counter that I had known about but never really met...so we were introduced and I asked her out a total of three times before she finally moved on to a different job and I quit asking! But she changed her mind later on and offered to go out with me... a year and a half later we were married and 15 years later we came back and bought the same store..."
You can still have a nickel cup of coffee and take in the historic atmosphere of Vandalia Drug until sometime in October. That’s when the business will close and transition to the Vandalia County Market store. The good news is Joe and his staff will move with the business, continuing the tradition of service and dedication to the community.
Salois hopes to sell the building to someone interested in keeping the little piece of Americana in Vandalia alive.
P.S. If you listened to the audio and think Joe Salois has a great radio voice, that is no coincidence! During his high school and college days, Joe helped his father Paul who owned and operated radio station KPCR, based in Bowling Green until the late 1990's.