Chris and Kendra Shields opened Shields Family Pharmacy at 2526 N. State St. in Alton on Dec. 29. The couple cites personal care as something that sets them apart from chain pharmacies.
ALTON — With the opening of the Shields Family Pharmacy, Chris and Kendra Shields are bringing back the tradition of the small, hometown pharmacy.
The Medora couple says they realize they are bucking the trend in an industry dominated by national pharmacy chains by opening the new business at 2526 N. State St. (next door to Joe K’s). With the rise of pharmacy giants Walgreens and CVS in the 1980s, many independent pharmacies were bought out or closed, and today hold only 30 percent of the market.
The Shields cite personal care as something that sets them apart.
“I’m here every day,” Kendra said. “People get to know me and I get to know them.”
Chris has a business degree from Greenville College, while Kendra is a graduate of the SIUE School of Pharmacy. They say it’s a perfect pairing for the family business — Chris handles day-to-day operations and Kendra acts as pharmacist.
Before opening the pharmacy, Kendra worked for seven years at the CVS pharmacy in Godfrey. With the closure of the LeClaire Family Pharmacy in June, the Shields decided the time was right to open their own business. They saw the family pharmacy as an important fixture in the community and wanted to continue to provide personal services to North Alton.
The business opened Dec. 29 and the Shields say that the results are already positive. A grand opening was held on Saturday, Jan. 24.
The Shields’ business is the fourth family pharmacy in the State Street area, following the LeClaire, Massey and Yungck families. The Shields Pharmacy is located just across the street from the old LeClaire Pharmacy.
The building itself is inviting, with a comfortable waiting area, homemade cookies and fresh coffee. Over-the-counter medicines are available in addition to prescription medications, and specialized services such as compounding, where medications are custom made from individual ingredients, are available as well. Other services include free delivery and medication synchronization, which allows all of a patient’s prescriptions to be filled on the same day.
With the change from working at a chain pharmacy to co-owning a new business, Kendra said she is looking forward to building relationships with patients.
“I love having the time to talk to people now,” she said.
Shields Pharmacy is open 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. on Saturday. For more information, call (618) 467-7003 or visit the Facebook page at Shields Family Pharmacy.