Boaz Discount Drugs has served the people of Sand Mountain for more than half a century.
The pharmacy has changed its location a few times and seen many faces come and go during that time, but in 50 years, Boaz Discount Drugs has never stopped caring about the convenience of its customers. Dale Johnson, current owner and pharmacist of Boaz Discount Drugs, said that has always been a top priority.
“One thing that this brought to mind is that this is Alabama’s 200th birthday,” Johnson said. “And for a fourth of that time, we’ve been here. I just couldn’t get over that… But, being here 50 years is saying something.”
The late Bill Cobb first opened the pharmacy in downtown Boaz in 1969. But Johnson, 71, of Sardis City, didn’t join the business until after he
graduated from Auburn University’s pharmacy school and worked in a couple local hospitals. In 1972, he became co-owner of the store after Cobb realized he could no longer handle it all himself, Johnson said. In the late 80s, Cobb retired and Johnson took full control of the store.
Johnson said the business probably started with three employees in its inception, but it has grown to 33 employees today. The pharmacy has done an admirable job evolving over time, especially in the ever-changing world of technology, Johnson said.
“Technology has definitely changed our job,” Johnson said. “Keeping up with patient records – without computers it would be impossible… People now live in their telephones. It’s a social media world. You look around while waiting somewhere. Most people will be looking into their phones – and we’ve tried to adapt to that.”
Boaz Discount Drugs offers drug compounding, which serves patients’ specific needs. It also provides online ordering, drive-through pick-ups and delivery.
In the 50 years of doing business in Boaz, Johnson said what he’s most proud of is the relationships he’s been able to build thanks to the store and the ability to support the communities the pharmacy serves – both things he said aren’t always found in a business.
“Over the years, we’ve really tried to help support the schools, youth activities and civic activities,” Johnson said. “That’s something that the chains don’t do.
“Something I’m most thankful for is being able to build those relationships with our customers,” he continued. “The relationships with those families are often generational and I’ve really enjoyed that.”
Boaz Discount Drugs has become a sort of family business in the last few years. His daughter, Anna Noojin, is a pharmacist at Boaz Discount Drugs, his son, Evan, is a physician in Sardis City who used to work at the store, and some of his grandchildren might be majoring in pharmaceuticals.
With eyes on the future, Johnson said he looks forward to seeing Boaz Discount Drugs grow and be in position to stick around for another 50 years.