Central Pharmacy: 180 Years’ Experience

The three full-time pharmacists at Central Pharmacy, 9952 Sullivan Road, and their senior clerk, Barbara Sonnier, are fixtures in the Central community. They know just about everyone on a first name basis, and there’s little wonder that they do!
After all, they have a combined 180 years in the pharmacy business!
Their friendly manner, concern for the customer, and willingness to share their knowledge are one of the biggest reasons Central Pharmacy has dominated the pharmacy market in Central for many years.

Barbara Sonnier: 39 years

•    Clerk Barbara Sonnier has been with Central Pharmacy or its predecessors 39 years. She loves her work and says she won’t be retiring “until you read about me at Rabenhorst.”
She came to work for Mr. Stoddard at Murray’s Pharmacy in 1980 when it was located where Marino’s Flowers is today at Hooper at Sullivan. They sold to CVS in 1997. CVS offered Barbara a job (“I only lasted six weeks. Couldn’t handle it!”) but she quit soon afterwards. When Claud Derbes opened Central Drug Store next door the following year, Barbara was onboard. When Claud sold the business, she stayed.
“What keeps me here are the customers. I love them! I lost my mind years ago, so I’ll be staying to help them out! We know our customers, call them by name, and truly care about them.”
She has three daughters, six grandkids, and a husband of 48 years.

Mike Anding: 44 years

•    Mike Anding has been a pharmacist since 1975. He went to Redemptorist High, then LSU until transferring to Northeast for pharmacy school. He worked for Reiger’s and then started Woodlawn Pharmacy on Jones Creek, which he owned for 18 years. He sold out to Albertson’s and worked for them for 10 years. He came to work for Claud Derbes at Central Drugs in 2005.
•    “I enjoy people. When working for myself, I got used to long hours. What’s special about Central Pharmacy is the people. They’ve been nice to us, very loyal. It’s a home-grown pharmacy, and we are very customer oriented.  It’s person to person. Eye contact. Name recognition. We provide a lot of medical advice. It’s a private setting so we can do that. The big boys expect a pharmacist to keep his head down and fill prescriptions. Don’t interact with the customer. We’re the opposite of that.”
•    Mike has four children and eight grandchildren.

George Munn: 50 years
•    Mike grew up in North Baton Rouge and graduated from Istrouma High. His aunt worked at a drug store in Tennessee. He visited and never wanted to do anything else. He went to Northeast and earned his degree in pharmacy, also an MBA from LSU, and one year toward his PhD. He started working as a pharmacist in 1968 at Kemp Pharmacy. Then in 1972, he went to Griffon’s Drugs. After that, he went to Baton Rouge General Hospital where spent most of his career. He began as staff pharmacist. Then assistant director and director of planning. Then Assistant Vice President and Vice President of Operations. This included the pharmacy and central supply. He supervised reconstruction of the General. He became qualified as a nursing home administrator.
•    After retiring from the General 10 years ago, he decided to return to pharmacy full time. “Central Drug Store was only a mile and a half from my home and very convenient. I like the people and the relationships. We look at people. We have eye contact. If there’s a problem, we fix it right then. We’re very busy, and I like that. The busier the better!”
•    “Pharmacy is a very good profession. In fact, it’s the most respected profession. I’ve always been fascinated with it. It’s a tremendous responsibility, because you have to be 100 percent correct all the time, but I love it!”
•    George Munn has four children and one grandchild.

Cyril Broussard: 37 years

•    Cyril Broussard played football for Pride High School and graduated there before going to SLU and then Xavier for pharmacy school. He worked for St. Bernard Pharmacy in St. Bernard Parish and then Walgreen’s in Marrero. Then he went to Eckerd’s in Chalmette. He always trying to find a way to get back home, and he got transferred to the Eckerd’s at Greenwell Springs and Sullivan roads in Central. Eckerd’s sold to CVS and he worked at the CVS at Wax and Sullivan. Then he spent a year working in New Roads before the new owners of Central Pharmacy recruited him to join their team.
•    “There’s something good here. Happy people from our area. It’s very satisfying working with people I’ve known all my life. With the big chains, it’s hard to have any real input. Here if I have a suggestion or an idea, I just walk in the office and present it! People listen, and it’s not just stuffed away.”
•    “Our customers ask us a lot of questions. We give a lot of medical advice in person and on the phone. It’s very satisfying to be able to help people.”
Central Pharmacy is owned by John Stagg and Kaley Hill. Kaley is on duty at Central Pharmacy daily.
Hill says he is very proud of the knowledge and expertise their pharmacists and Miss Barbara bring to Central Pharmacy.
“They have 180 years of experience and that is a very impressive thing, but what is even more impressive are the friendships, the relationships, and the network of people they have in this community.”
“It’s refreshing to work with them. While I am an owner, the reality is that I am their student. There’s a reason that pharmacy is the most respected profession, and we see why in the great job these dedicated professionals do everyday.”

Twitter Digg Delicious Stumbleupon Technorati Facebook Email

No comments yet... Be the first to leave a reply!