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For nearly a year, Jeff Weyer had been designing, building and finishing his new pharmacy on Main Street, Callicoon.
“It’s a long process to get all the state and federal approvals, for obvious reasons,” Weyer said.
Earlier this month Riverside Remedies’ hosted an official ribbon cutting, where Weyer said, “I want to thank everyone for coming… it’s been a year coming but this is an important part of the community and I’m really excited to be in Callicoon.”
Opening a new store in Callicoon is like a homecoming of sorts for Weyer.
“My roots are here,” he said. “All of my mother’s siblings live around here and my sister recently ‘came home.’ It’s been great to open this type of business in Callicoon.”
While the construction process was going on behind closed doors, Weyer said the interest was overwhelming, as people would stop by to check in on the store’s progress.
Weyer was able to handle most of the construction himself along with a small crew, relying on his extensive carpentry background from 20 years working with his stepdad, Bob Whipple.
In the early 2000s Weyer’s career took a new turn as he went back to school to earn his Funeral Director’s license.
“I’m going to keep my license, for sure, and help the family business out to the best of my ability,” he said.
His brother-in-law, Joe Kenny, is the owner of Kenny Funeral Homes in Monticello and Wurtsboro.
Jeff and his wife, Jill, live in Monticello with their soon to be five-year-old twin sons, Evan and Daniel, and two-and-a-half-year-old daughter, Claire.
Jill is the Sullivan County Deputy Planning Commissioner as well as trustee on the Monticello Village Board.
Now that he is open, he realizes it will take some time to “build a base” of customers who rely on Riverside Remedies for their prescriptions and other health needs.
But the new 2,100 square foot store is much more than just a traditional pharmacy.
It has a little old-fashioned general store mixed in, offering everything from gifts and toys to cards to various housewares.
“I have retail experience from my days working at Bob Whipple’s Ski Shop,” Weyer said. “I’m not afraid to do retail [in addition to the pharmacy].
“The front end is important, certainly in this area,” he said. “I hope to support the need.”
Weyer also believes his location is a plus because “We will be able to save people the journey to another town to pick up their prescriptions.”
And with a dentist, doctor and hospital all located in Callicoon, Weyer said the town is already a healthcare center.
The new store will create five jobs, including a Supervising Pharmacist named Gene W. Burns and a part-time pharmacist.
Partnership, IDA, Jeff Bank help store along
The Sullivan County Partnership for Economic Development, Sullivan County IDA and Jeff Bank all played a role in helping to fund the new endeavor for Weyer.
“Marc [Baez, Partnership CEO] and Jen [Brylinski, IDA Executive Director] were very helpful as well,” Weyer said. “This store was my mother’s brainstorm.”
Dr. Maureen Whipple, Weyer’s mom, certainly knew the healthcare landscape in the area and has encouraged her son along the way.
While Sunday hours may be on the horizon, Riverside Remedies is currently open Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Down the road Weyer said he may departmentalize the pharmacy to offer Sunday hours.
Originally published in Sullivan County Business Edge: Winter 2014.