Crescent Pharmacy: Serving up kindness for 50 years

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 17, 2009

By Drew Sechler
ROCKWELL ó If you’ve lived in Rockwell at any point in your life or you still live there, best bet is you’ve been a regular customer at Crescent Pharmacy for many years.
Crescent is celebrating its 50th anniversary this month, which means they’ve been going steady since July of 1959, and the one to credit is store owner William Lumbard.
“We’ve had a lot of good people work here over the years,” Lumbard said.
Good people is an understatement ó you are overwhelmed with generosity as you walk in the door.
Lumbard started out at Black’s Drug Store in Kannapolis and then decided to open up his own place in Rockwell, which was at the Old Stone Building (now apartments).
Lumbard’s brother was a doctor at that time and was dispensing medicine, as well. So his brother told him he should start his own business.
Lumbard listened and he opened up a business in Rockwell, where he was born and raised.
Crescent Pharmacy made the move to its current location back in December 1981 and has been there ever since.
Ann Goodman, store manager and Lumbard’s daughter, has been working at the pharmacy since she was 12 years old.
“We’re just proud that we’ve been here for 50 years,” Goodman said.
When Goodman started working at her father’s pharmacy, she would come after basketball practice.
“I was sweaty and I didn’t want to work.”
Well, years later, Goodman is still working in her father’s pharmacy, usually not sweaty, and enjoys every minute of it.
“I went to college (Catawba College) to become a teacher and I didn’t want to do that, so I came back and I’ve been back ever since.
“I came back to my roots,” Goodman added.
Those roots have been planted in loyal, longtime customers such as Berdia Hearne, who was asked how long she’s been coming to Crescent.
“As long as Bill’s (Lumbard) been here, I’ve been here,” Hearne said.
Shelly Bingham Batts, who currently serves as a pharmacist, started out her career at Crescent as a teenager helping out around the store. Batts, like Goodman, had to return to her roots after she briefly stepped out into the corporate pharmacy world.
“He’s the one that encouraged me to go into pharmacy.” Batts said.
Batts said she didn’t feel comfortable working at just any pharmacy, but was drawn back to a more familiar, family-like atmosphere in Crescent.
“I feel like you can truly practice your profession here, and you can put a face to names,” Batts said.
Putting those faces to names is really what has allowed Crescent to be able to compete with the chain drug stores in the area, employees believe.
“We all know our customers, they know our name, we know their name,” Goodman said.
“A lot of our business is word-of-mouth,” she said.
That kind of advertising has developed a following at Crescent.
“We have good, loyal people,” Goodman said.
Crescent takes generosity to a different level by sending out cards to customers and taking steps to please them.
“The best part to me is that after the pharmacy is closed, we’ll come back and get their prescription,” Lumbard said.
You probably won’t find that personal customer relation anywhere else, Lumbard said.
“We wouldn’t be where we are today without our customers,” Goodman said.
One reason why Crescent is still going strong is because they still carry some older medicines that aren’t available anywhere else, and Lumbard still likes to practice some of his old remedies.
Lumbard said he’ll still have people ask him things like “how do you mix this up and what to you do again?”
Lumbard is looked upon as a father and community figure to many of his fellow employees and customers.
“He’s helped so many and he does so much,” Batts said.
“I’ve had a good teacher,” she added.