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Pharmacy a delightful step into the past

Houser’s Drugs, a notable landmark for more than 50 years in Cherryville keeps tradition and a small town atmosphere alive by catering to citizens.
“I’ve been coming for 10 to 15 years every morning,” said Ruth Black-Anthony. “It’s a friendly place to meet and they’re awfully nice here. It’s a landmark in Cherryville”
Since 1935 Houser’s Drugs serves citizens not only through prescription drugs, but also through their soda fountain.
Stepping into Houser’s Drug, you can not help but notice the original soda fountain catering to customers.
“I have drug representatives come in here and they compliment on the soda fountain,” Tim Moss said. Moss has owned the pharmacy since 1992. “I bet there is not 10 in the state that have all the original equipment like this.”
Customers, both regular and others dropping in, can enjoy original Orangeade drinks and sandwiches.
“We have a coffee club of about 10-15 people,” Moss said. “One time there was about 20 that paid dues.”
Each coffee club member has their own cup, with their name on it, on a shelf behind the counter.
“We had to throw a couple out because they got all old and raggedy,” Moss said. “One girl had painted them and made some of them look better.”
Members of the coffee club paid dues each week and contributed to the community.
“We paid $1 a month,” Anthony said. “If anyone was sick or died we would send flowers or a card.”
Anthony keeps many fond memories of her time spent as a Coffee Club member.
“We use to have birthday parties here,” she said. “Anyone in the club that had a birthday we would have a party for. I wish I could remember all the things, but it was all fun. If it wasn’t fun, we wouldn’t be here this morning.”
Despite the old tradition Houser’s keeps, Moss said there has been a decline in such customers.
“It’s boiled down to the fact that several of them have had heart attacks,” Anthony said. “there is about five or six of us left. Most people just stop in and see who is here and talk a little bit.”
When Anthony says she is at Houser’s Drug every morning for coffee, she means what she says.
“We come in snow, sleet and ice,” she said. “Then we go to Blackwood Grill after coffee. I’ve cooked enough in my lifetime, I don’t need to cook anymore.”
No matter the age, everyone enjoys all the treats Houser’s offers.
“Everyone comes to Houser’s for the orangeades and milkshakes,” said Heidi Huffman. “All the kids come after school to get their orangeades.”
Everything is homemade, which include sandwiches, milkshakes and the famous orangeades.
In addition to the old fashioned soda fountain, Houser’s Drug also offers home delivery to patients who are homebound.
“If they don’t have what you need here, they will get if for you by the next day,” Anthony said.

Orangeade is a very popular item at the pharmacy. Here, employee Heidi Huffman prepares a fresh drink for a customer. Katie Rosycki / LTN Photo

Moss, along with H.L. Beam III., and Don Beam, bought the business in 1992 after Dr. William Houser owned it for about 45 years, according to Moss.
Since then Moss said the business has branched out.
“We’ve gotten busier. We make specialty items and compounds,” Moss said.
Such specialty items include hormone creams, beef flavored potassium for customer’s pets and nicotine lollipops for people who want to quit smoking.
Moss said he tries to use his business to service the community through clinics for services as flu shots and diabetes.
“I would hope a lot of people thank us for all we do,” said Tim Moss, part owner of Houser’s Drugs. “I think they believe we’re giving back to community.”
by Maribeth Kiser

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