Pharmacy by the Sea

by Nov 19, 2021Health, South Brunswick

Coming soon to St. James Marina is The Apothecary at St. James, a full-service pharmacy.

A new family-owned pharmacy will be the first independent business inside St. James, other than Troon-owned facilities, when it opens late fall at the St. James Marina. In addition to filling prescriptions, the pharmacy and gift shop will carry over-the-counter products, quality nutrition and vitamin lines and boutique gifts.

Owners Bill and Denise Hayes bring a trifecta of skills to the store: experience, expertise and exceptional customer service. They owned and operated a pharmacy in New Jersey for 25 years before relocating to St. James four years ago. 

That pharmacy serviced the community, nursing homes in area and hospice for the county as well as sold upscale gifts and home goods.

Denise holds degrees in pharmacy from the University of Rhode Island and has experience working in both hospital pharmacies and home care plus years of independent retail pharmacy experience. She held a real estate license in New Jersey and has as an active license in North Carolina. She works remotely for a New Jersey company that studies the cost of drugs for nursing homes, and she volunteers at the pharmacy at New Hope Clinic in Boiling Spring Lakes.

Bill, who has been an EMT and pharmacy tech for many years, currently works for Compliant Pharmacy Alliance Cooperative (CPA), a pharmacy buying co-op that allows independent pharmacies to buy together nationally so they can compete with chain pharmacies. Bill says, “This is a big deal for us. It enables us to compete as a full-service pharmacy.”

Through CPA, Bill met Natasha and Ed Thomas, fourth-generation pharmacist and owners of Thomas Drugs on Oak Island, one of the four family-owned Thomas Drug pharmacies in Brunswick and Horry counties. Thomas Drugs prides itself on services like home delivery, access to a pharmacist and easy accessibility to its customers. Ed says, “The Apothecary at St. James will have the same customer service mindset as we have had for the past 50 years.” It’s a perfect match for a partnership.

Denise and Bill Hayes

Like Thomas Drugs, The Apothecary at St. James will have an unparalleled focus on customer service. The pharmacy will source special orders by the next day if not available the same day and provide emergency after-hours service and home delivery for prescriptions. Customers will always be able to speak to a pharmacist. With the local demographic in mind, the pharmacy intends to offer shingles and pneumonia vaccines, COVID vaccines and boosters and flu vaccines. The Apothecary will also take care of specialty compounding needs and pet medicines and offer notary public services.

The partnership between the Thomas and Hayes families will bring an advanced level of wellness service and education to Brunswick County. Natasha, an integrated functional wellness physician, will help deliver science-based seminars to educate the public periodically at the St. James Community Center. Topics under way include supplements and vitamins, drug-induced nutrition depletion, and diet.

Rounding out the team, is pharmacist Camille Moss, a graduate from The University of Georgia College of Pharmacy and a registered pharmacist for more than 33 years, licensed in five states. Moss, who worked in her locally owned neighborhood pharmacy at the age of 15, says she feels like she’s coming full circle to return to a neighborhood pharmacy. “I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Denise and help make her vision become reality. I see this pharmacy as a return to our roots — the neighborhood pharmacy where you know your pharmacist and we know you. We are excited to care for you and your family.”

The Apothecary at St. James will also sell boutique gifts. Customers can walk out the door with a wrapped gift from a selection of trendy upscale items like beach bags and towels, sunglasses and readers, cards, hats, holiday gifts, home decor and housewarming gifts. The Apothecary also will offer sunscreen and over-the-counter first aid supplies and medications.

Bill and Denise are thrilled to service residents from the Brunswick County community at the convenient St. James location. The Apothecary will also service boaters who visit the St. James Marina.

Denise concludes, “It’s been fun watching the space come together and transform into our vision. We are excited about establishing relationships with customers, patients and providers and fulfilling people’s needs, taking care of our community and servicing our neighbors.”

Camille encourages everyone to take a break, stroll the beautiful St. James Marina and inhale the wonderful salt air. “It’s good for the soul. And The Apothecary will be too!”

Watch for the date and time of the grand-opening celebration soon.