Business

Prescription Shoppe bids a fond good Bye

From his shop on Silverdale Way, Ed Bye has watched Silverdale grow up around him.

“When this clinic was built it was surrounded by pastures. There were horses over there and horses in the field where Longs (Drug) is,” Bye said.

The Prescription Shoppe opened its doors in the Silverdale Medical Center in 1977. At the time, Bye ran the Thriftway Pharmacy, but he went to work for The Prescription Shoppe in 1979 and eventually bought it.

Bye has run it since, turning down an average of two or three chain store offers to buy the 10513 Silverdale Way shop each year.

But recently Longs Drug offered Bye a deal too sweet to refuse. This will be the store’s last full week of operation.

“It was a very difficult decision. I think my age was the deciding factor. I like filling prescriptions, but I needed to get out of ownership,” Bye said.

By Dec. 1, all his shop’s prescriptions will be transferred to Longs and Bye will begin working there full time for at least six months. After that, he said he’ll keep his options open.

“Ideally I’d like to work part time because I really enjoy meeting the public and filling prescriptions,” Bye said.

The atmosphere might not be as intimate at Longs, Bye said, and the work might be faster paced. But he pointed out that he will be working for a pharmacist who worked in his store when she was in high school.

The pharmacy business has changed over the years, Bye said, and working with insurance companies has become more frustrating.

“When I started out there were about 10 or 15 percent insurance company (prescriptions). The rest was pay for services. Now it’s 90 percent insurance companies,” Bye said.

However, he pointed out that insurance company support is the reason he is filling more prescriptions for drugs that would not be affordable to individuals.

Most of the prescription stores in the area now are owned by chains, but Bye listed a handful of sole proprietors which have survived, including Bogard’s Silverdale Drug. He said it is still possible to make it as a single entity.

“I was (profitable) and you can’t get much smaller than this. You have to find a a niche and be able to wear a couple hats. It’s been a thrill for the last 24 years to be my own boss,” Bye said.

He never found a magic formula that guaranteed success for his business, but he said The Prescription Shoppe thrived due to a combination of luck and good business instincts. His long-time employee Lucenti Mechelle has been an integral part of his shop’s success, Bye said.

The Silverdale Medical Center might rent out the former Prescription Shoppe location to a physical therapist, Bye said.

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