The Shop Around the Corner

I love living in a town that still fosters small businesses. Our town has always discouraged the big box stores in favour of small business, and I think it’s part of the charm of living here. Yeah, we don’t have a Wal-Mart or a big box mall, but we still have every amenity. And I prefer the small-town feel.

Like today, for instance. I am still sick, only now, to compound matters, my glands are swollen and ache like mad. And my nose has been rubbed raw from blowing, replaced with blisters and redness. So BDH (who is also sick) and I headed out in search of pharmaceuticals.

We tried finding what I was looking for at the drug store in the local grocery. But they didn’t have exactly the drug I wanted, the only thing that seems to be working for me right now. So we headed off, and stopped at the local Subway to get BDH a sandwich. In the same plaza, there was a tiny little hole-in-the-wall pharmacy. So while BDH got his sandwich, I went in.

I’ve had good luck with this little pharmacy in the past. In desperation, I have occasionally gone in there, and gotten some brilliant advice and wonderful products. And today was no exception. I was too sick to spend a lot of time faffing about, but there was no need. The pharmacist came out from behind the counter as soon as I arrived to assist me, took me around, advised me what to buy — and also, when they didn’t have what I wanted, knew exactly which product to recommend that was the same as what I wanted. I was in, out and done in 2 minutes. And every time, it’s the same.

They don’t have a huge pharmacy, but one thing they have in spades is customer service. And that’s the thing about the small stores vs the box stores — we could have spent 15 minutes in the big store and left empty-handed. Or at the very least, left with something that wasn’t quite want we wanted, or didn’t quite fix the problem. But in the 2 minutes it took the pharmacist to chat with me and give me advice, I got everything I needed, and he got a repeat customer.

Yes, it’s nice sometimes to have all the big stores, everything you could possibly want, at your fingertips. But sometimes, it’s nice to just get what you need. And on a day like today, the extra TLC went a long way.