Posted on 04 January 2013 by laha1016
By Stephanie Ornelas
La Habra Journal
La Habra’s Central Drugs manages to stay confident and successful after serving the community for nearly 60 years. One of the main factors contributing to Central Drugs’ success is its connection to the community, explained General Manager Ben Cano.
Neighborhood drug store—Nayan Patel, President and CEO of Central Drugs (left) and General Manager Ben Cano know the importance of community relationships and what they mean in order to maintain Central Drugs’ nearly 60 years of success in La Habra.
Cano, a long-time La Habra resident and member of the Chamber of Commerce, not only resides in La Habra today, but he also grew up in the city. Cano was even on the first CIF team for the La Habra High School football team.
Cano joined the staff after he graduated La Habra High in 2004. “I was raised in this city so I know the community very well and I think that’s really important,” he said. Being general manager, Cano finds it necessary to have good relationships with all his guests and the philosophy of Central Drugs is to connect with the customers and the community. As one of the top compounding pharmacies in the country, Central Drugs caters to the needs of its customers.
“We are on a first name basis with a lot of our customers. We want them to trust us,” said Nayan Patel, President and CEO of Central Drugs. Patel is proud of Central Drugs’ reputation and explained how it has stood out to many around the country, including, Pharmacy Development Services in Florida, who awarded the pharmacy the entrepreneur of the year award in 2009.
“That meant a lot to us,” Patel said. “We were chosen over a few thousand pharmacies over the U.S.”
Despite the growth of these big chains, Central Drugs and its staff continue to prosper. Patel bought the business in 1999 and explained that it might not have been considered the best deal at the time. “We had to rebuild the business and it was a difficult process,” he explained. “Our first turn around wasn’t until 2004.” Patel explained how the pharmacy works to create personal and trusted relationships with each customer.
Patel and his staff have continued to rebuild Central Drugs throughout the years and the relationship with their customers and the city continues to get stronger.
“La Habra has given me tremendous opportunity and has shown me how local pharmacies can survive,” Patel said.
“We try to attend a lot of city fundraisers including La Habra Lions and Juvenile Diabetes, a car show fundraiser,” Cano explained. The pharmacy offers its customers various services that add a personal touch including home delivery, lectures by guest speakers and samples. Cano went on to explain the importance of staying connected and being a part of the community and why that separates Central Drugs from others.
The next plan for the pharmacy is to expand. Patel explained that he wants to take what they have built at Central Drugs and spread it to other communities.
“Communities need more pharmacies like us. To have personal and trusted relationships with each customer,” Patel said.
Confident and positive about the growth of his business, Patel added, “We can donate money and do charity work but the biggest thing we can do to give back to the community is to give our customers the knowledge they need so they have the power to help themselves.”