A community pharmacy opens in Goshen

Goshen. Supervising Pharmacist Jahan Keivanjah looks to have Cure Pharmacy follow in the footsteps of Strong’s and then Baxter’s Pharmacies.

| 17 Feb 2021 | 02:43

Good news for the residents of Goshen: Cure Pharmacy, 6 North Church Street, is now open for business.

“I’m happy to be here,” Supervising Pharmacist Jahan Keivanjah said. “I live in the area, I love this area, and the pharmacy helps me to connect with residents. I’m here and committed to caring.”

Keivanjah said he knows he can make more money working at a chain drug store, but chains aren’t community pharmacies.

“Come into Cure Pharmacy, a community pharmacy — here I’ll know your name. You can call me anytime; I’ll help you as much as I can.”

Cure Pharmacy is offering all personal services, like home delivery, available immunizations, compounding services to customize medications, durable medical equipment and a full line of over-the-counter medical necessities.

‘A family affair’ back in the beginning

Although not at the same location, Cure Pharmacy opened soon after Baxter’s Pharmacy abruptly closed in July 2019, leaving the community without a local pharmacy.

Baxter’s Pharmacy has a long history in Goshen, beginning with Hazel and Harold Strong who opened Strong’s Pharmacy in 1924. However, it wasn’t until 1952 that they moved to their permanent location at 62 W. Main Street.

At that time, it was the site of the former Atlantic & Pacific (A&P) grocery store. Yes, in the 1930s, a Grand Union was located on the same street. For years Goshen was bustling with two chain grocery stores, as well as many smaller stores, including grocery, hardware, meat markets, bakeries and more.

“When they moved there, Dr. Keyes and Dr. Lippincott had offices upstairs, so Harold and Hazel answered the phone for them,” said longtime Goshen resident Pat Strong.

Strong worked at the pharmacy for several years, in 1952 while in high school and then summers when she attended college.

“Harold and Hazel were the nicest people, and I was one of the many young people who worked there through the years,” said Strong, who later married George Strong, one of three Strong children. Besides George, the Strong’s had another son Robert and a daughter Mary Lee. George and Mary Lee, and her husband David Reese, became pharmacists, and Bob, as manager, did administrative work.

“A family affair,” said Strong.

A soda fountain and baseball cards with gum

“It was fabulous to work there, they had a fountain with stools all lined up. It really became a meeting place. It was a fabulous place to be a part of,” said Strong, adding that the milk shakes were “wonderful.”

Village of Goshen Mayor Mike Nuzzolese remembers the good happenings in Goshen, especially the fountain at Strong’s Pharmacy.

“As a kid, whenever I had money from mowing lawns, I’d head to Strong’s, sit at the soda fountain, and have something to eat,” said Nuzzolese, who mentioned another favorite of his. “They had baseball cards with gum, too.”

An unsolved robbery

Town of Goshen Supervisor Doug Bloomfield recalls working at Strong’s Pharmacy as a youth, working nightly from 6 to 10, when a little excitement came his way.

“One night I noticed three or four autos lined up in front of the store,” Bloomfield said. “All cars were plain, a single color—no lettering - had whitewalls with one antennae on each rear. Several men dressed in suits, white shirts, ties and fedoras came into the store. As they walked around the store, they were drawing pictures. About an hour later when they left, I asked ‘Who were those fellas?’ I was told they had to do with a robbery.”

During the night, someone broke into the store through the basement door, went to the top floor, and using a ladder, cut a hole in the roof, climbed to the roof, pulled up the ladder, went next door to the bank roof, cut a hole in that roof, dropped the ladder into the bank. With explosives, blew the night depository door. They reversed the process to leave the premises. All these years later, even with investigation, they were never found.

“I was 16 years old at the time,” said Bloomfield, with a chuckle. “I knew something was wrong. I had black walled tires on my car!

The lady asked for Pall Malls

“One Sunday afternoon while I was working, a lady came into the store; she was a little older with a New York City accent. She wanted a pack of Pall Mall cigarettes. As I turned around to get the cigarettes, Police Chief Golemboski entered the store and said to her, ‘Get back in the car.’ ‘Why, she asked?’ The chief explained, “Ma’am, women over 16-years of age are not allowed to wear shorts in the Village.

“He said I could give her the cigarettes, though. As I did, she slammed 25 cents into my hand and stormed out.”

This was 1958.

“Is this law still on the books?” Bloomfield asks.

Bloomfield said he, too, loved working at the soda fountain in Strong’s Pharmacy for four years as a “soda jerk.”

In 1983, the Strong’s sold their pharmacy to John Nemith, with Johnik Pharmacy, Inc., who opened Baxters Pharmacy.

‘I’m certainly committed to helping’

With Baxter’s closing, Cure Pharmacy, although not occupying the former Baxter building, is welcoming back all Baxter Pharmacy customers, and pharmacist Keivanjah, is offering the personal service that a smaller pharmacy can - one that isn’t part of a chain.

“Know that there is someone here to help you—someone who genuinely cares,” said Keivanjah. “I’m hoping to turn this pharmacy into something good; I’m certainly committed to helping.”

Cure Pharmacy is open Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m to 2 p.m. Phone number: 845-237-5557.