A new pharmacy has opened in downtown Covington, La., at the corner of N. Vermont St. and Gibson St. It's more than just a pharmacy, though, since it contains a wide variety of merchandise that people have come to expect in the full-service one stop combination drug store and convenience store.
The signage has been going up on the front windows and on the side of the building, announcing the coming of a new drug store to the downtown area, which at one time had several pharmacies at the center of the growing community.
Harold Dill puts the finishing touches on the Gibson St. side "Downtown Drugs" sign.
Matthew Morvant, the pharmacist in charge, said the venture had always been a goal of his, particularly since his whole career had been based on the advice of Jerry Braswell, another longtime Covington area pharmacist. "I even wrote my entrance paper into pharmacy school about him," Morvant stated.
From Braswell Morvant learned that in Covington, the pharmacist was more than just a pharmacist, he was also a leader in the community. "And to be in the downtown area was significant," he concluded. The address is 338 North Vermont St.
Downtown Covington has a rich legacy in community drugstores: Schonberg's, Hebert's, Bulloch, Tyler Downtown Drugs and City Drugs.
The new Downtown Drugs is located in what he calls "the perfect location," since many people are familiar with the corner, which in the past was home to Western Auto, an artist gallery, and more recently, a yoga studio. The business is located in the northwest corner of the block where the Southern Hotel occupies the entire south half of the block. A few doors down on Gibson is the Bogue Falaya Fitness gym and across the street is Marsolan's Feed & Seed. So while it's not on one of the main streets, the new drug store still sees lots of traffic of people going to and from the school board office and parish courthouse.
Jerry Braswell, the advisor to the business, says that since its a "destination" business, they didn't worry too much about traffic passing by. People will come to the drug store to buy what they need, to visit, to shop for other items, and to just be a part of downtown Covington activity. Braswell may also serve as a relief pharmacist when things get busy.
The crew at the new business includes, from left, Matthew Morvant (PharmD), Jerry Braswell, Whitney Braswell (CPht), and Jennifer Gaines.