Busy Mom and Pharmacist Guides 60 Year Old Pharmacy into the Digital Age

Jari Becker R.Ph. manages the bustling Town & Country Apothecary and Fine Cosmetics pharmacy with Pharmacy Manager Jim Hertel “without us working as a team to run the day-to-day needs of the store the business would never run properly or efficiently.” The pharmacy is located in Ridgewood New Jersey - a bucolic and high-powered town just 20 minutes from Manhattan. New York commuters demand that their needs be taken care of in a snap, and come rain, shine, snow, ice or occasional hurricane, at-home patients expect (and need) on-time delivery of their weekly prescriptions. Jari and her staff of seventeen are up to the challenge, despite competition from big box brands and rival community pharmacies in neighboring towns. In fact the pharmacy is entering its 62nd year of continuous business. Said another way, Town and Country is thriving.

As our interview started, service-minded Jari says, “excuse me,” and in the distance you can hear her chatting with a patient, “are you being helped sir?” We wait on hold for three or four minutes as she quickly fills a prescription, “sorry about that” she says, coming back to our interview. Jari quickly gives her background, she is a registered pharmacist, working mom and has worked at the store for the second and third owner. She worked through her early maternity years on a per diem basis to ensure her qualifications and knowledge stayed relevant, “you can’t be away from the business too long if you want to stay up to speed,” she rounds out her introduction.

When asked how she thinks about competition, she says “we are very familiar with our customers, we know their names, we know their families, we really just have a great relationship.” If a patient were to go to another pharmacy, she laments that it might come down to an insurance related matter or that her staff was just not on their A-game during the last customer interaction, “it’s not that another store could have an edge on ours.”

Indeed, Town & Country is at the leading edge when it comes to digital solutions. “More technology savvy patients use our website and app to order refills. We are also very active with our newsletter and messaging our patients via text,” explains Jari.

That wasn’t always the case. Just two years ago Town & Country did not have a digital presence. “We took our cues from our patients,” she explains. “More and more patients asked for our website and if we had an app; that’s when we reached out to RxWiki. We adopted their Digital Pharmacist solution, not just for this store but also another 16 stores operated by the same owner.” Town & Country now advertises its app near the prescription counter in store, and downloads are growing. “This is the best way to remind patients they can save time by ordering in advance. Their details are already saved in the app, so they just need to hit the refill button.”

The phone rings in the background, and Jari says, “excuse me,” one more time. She leaves our call for a few minutes, “the little people are back from school and that’s my daily check in. I’ll be building our pharmacy e-newsletter tonight while they are doing their homework.” Jari has to run, another patient needs a prescription refilled.

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