Celebrating 30 years: Powers bros. speak about the past three decades as owners of Maiden Drug Store
Maiden Drug has been a staple of the downtown Williamsburg scene for decades. Families in the area have depended on Maiden for their prescription needs for generations, and for the past 30 years brothers Jonathan and Roger Powers have been proud to carry on that tradition as owners of the pharmacy.
“We decided we’d just keep the name after we took over,” Jonathan Powers explained. “Because everyone already knew it by that name. If we changed the name people would always just say ‘the old Maiden Drug,’ so why change it? We just kept the name, and the history that is attached to it.”
And what a history it has been…
“Me and my brother, Roger, bought it in August of 1990 from the Maiden family,” Powers said. “I had been a pharmacist since 1986, working in Barbourville. Roger had been one since about 1984.”
“We’d come in here to fill-in sometimes back then, and then the opportunity came up to buy the store.”
“We had been coming in here ever since we were little kids ourselves, with our own family, so we just decided to buy it in August of 1990.”
Speaking about how things operated when they took over thirty years ago, Powers said,
“Everything was still manual, typed out on a typewriter. Prescriptions were hand-written, and no computers. But we had great employees. We have always had great employees, and we’ve always had great customers.”
Speaking about how things have changed since that time, Powers said, “When we first started it was mostly just filling prescriptions, but as times have changed the role of pharmacies has evolved as well. Now we’re called upon more to give vaccinations and immunizations, and to oversee medication therapy management programs.”
“The way that we get prescriptions is mostly handled electronically now,” Powers continued. “The insurance claims are sent in electronically, whereas we used to have to mail them in and physically fill out claim forms for prescriptions.”
When you walk into Maiden Drug today, you will see employees using modern technology to assist customers, but you will also see many things on shelves and walls that serve as reminders of the past.
“The peanut machine is the same one that has been here since I was a little boy,” Powers said. “A lot of people identify with that.”
“We also have many of the old files stored in the back, and some people have brought in antiques, such as old prescription bottles, for us to display. People like to reminisce. They rely on us for not only their health needs, but also to be a familiar, stable place. People like to know that, even though things change, Maiden’s is still here.”
Looking ahead to the future, Powers said, “Independent drugstores are a dying breed, but to me, it is a very important part of the medical profession as a whole. It is important to have that personal touch, to have someone to reach out to when you or your loved one needs help.”
Elaborating on that “personal touch,” Powers added, “We strive very hard to make sure that everyone who walks in is recognized and called by name. Obviously, if it is a new customer we may not know them, but we like to operate on a first-name basis if possible. People like to hear their name being called, and to know that we know them personally.”
In closing, Powers said that both he and his brother are very grateful for all of their customers, some of whom have been coming to Maiden Drug for 30 years or more. They are also thankful for the many workers that the store has employed through the years, mentioning that some have gone on to become pharmacists elsewhere, while others have become school teachers, nurses, or have found success in other important fields.
“This isn’t just a job,” Powers said. “For those who have the aspirations, it has served as a stepping stone to help them get to where they want to be in life. We are proud of that fact.”