Bend’s westside has a new, full-service pharmacy to fill your prescriptions and your drug store needs. The Westside Pharmacy opened to excitement May 27, and has seen a consistent rise of clientele throughout the summer. The core group of Owner Kristen Godfrey, Pharmacist in charge Amy Tice and Head Technician Holly Parker have put together a service-oriented, independent pharmacy designed to put their customers first.
Bend has 10 retail pharmacies, including the soon-to-open Walgreens, but almost all of them are located on the east side. With the closing of Rays Food Place earlier this year, a gap in pharmaceutical services on the west side began to appear.
“I’ve wanted to live in Bend for a long time,” says former Eugene-resident, Godfrey. “With Ray’s closing in January, and hearing some complaints about Safeway’s service, it seemed like the right time to open a pharmacy.”
So, Godfrey consulted with Ohio-based Independent RX Consulting, and serendipitously connected with Tice. After realizing they shared the same vision, the plan began to fall into place. Next they met and immediately liked Parker, and set out to find a location.
Originally loving the current location, but concerned about high rent, Godfrey searched for the perfect spot, but kept coming back to the former bank building. Happy with the easy Century Drive access, the three can hardly imagine the Westside Pharmacy located anywhere else.
“We get fun people who are happy we are here,” says Godfrey. “We are just trying to be supportive of our westside community.”
“We love the open feel of it here,” adds Tice. “There’s always a lot of discussions and educating the public going on.”
The openness of the building allows for a team effort in assisting their customers. In turn, those who walk through the door, or use their drive-through service immediately recognize the chemistry between the staff.
“I appreciate the way we work together,” explains Godfrey. “I believe I struck gold with our working dynamic. I am so happy to come to work every day.”
Godfrey moved to Bend last fall from Eugene, where she’s worked as a private counselor since 2007. While she has plans to start a practice in Bend, right now she is focused on her new career as a pharmacy owner. She lives on the westside with her boyfriend, his two kids, and her Black Labrador Retriever.
Terrebonne-resident Tice grew up the daughter of two Montana pharmacists. As her father owned several independent pharmacies, Tice developed her vision of what whole health care through a community pharmacy could be. A graduate of Oregon State University and Oregon Health and Science University, Tice left Sisters Drug for Westside Pharmacy.
“I like the influence I get to have on people’s well-being here,” explains Tice. “I get to educate and shape the direction of the pharmacy.”
Rounding out the big three at Westside Pharmacy is former Fred Meyer head technician Parker. The Joseph, Oregon native joined the staff immediately after talking with Godfrey and discussing the vision for the pharmacy.
“Everybody is so great,” says Parker. “We laugh all day long. The customers truly make our environment.”
Like any new business, Westside Pharmacy has had its fair share of joys and hurdles. Pleasantly surprised by the ease of state licensing, Godfrey focused her attention on the painstaking process of managing the MODA Health Plans process. They expect to be cleared by MODA’s credential process by the end of the month. Until then, they are offering a discount card plan to meet their MODA customers’ needs.
Across the store from the prescription medications sits open displays of vitamins and supplements, sports-injury and homeopathy supplies, and over-the-counter medications. They even fill growlers of Humm Kombucha.
The true gem of Westside Pharmacy lies in its offered services. In addition to its drive-through feature, there is a dedicated consulting and immunization room to ensure privacy. Prescription orders are processed within 60 minutes during normal business hours and you can even order them from your smartphone. And, if the need arises, Godfrey will personally deliver your medications to your home or office.
As for the competition from the large drug store chains, Godfrey isn’t worried. While they may be able to offer a larger selection, the independent pharmacies have the ability to offer personalized service. Plus, for customers using an insurance plan, the cost of prescriptions is the same at Westside Pharmacy as other pharmacies in town.
“Obviously, they are able to offer more selection, but we offer a relationship with our customers,” explains Godfrey. “We take the time to follow up.”
While Godfrey, Tice and Parker have already been approached about opening another pharmacy in other Central Oregon locations, they are focused on this new endeavor. They are excited about offering MODA Health Plans soon, expanding their natural products selection and the upcoming vaccination season. With each new product or service offered, Westside Pharmacy is able to build stronger relationships with their community.
“Everybody here genuinely cares about your health,” emphasizes Godfrey.
Location: 359 SW Century Drive, Bend, OR 97702
Owner: Kristen Godfrey
Employees: 3 Full-time, 4 Part-time
Year Est.: 2014
Products: A full-service pharmacy with products for customer’s Services: whole health needs.
Hot News: New independent pharmacy on Bend’s westside fills the pharmacy gap left after Ray’s shuts down.
Outlook: Steady growth to be augmented by a growing list of