Independent local pharmacy does “little things” right; free delivery, multi-dose packaging add great value for customers.
Steve, Matthew and Michael Fettman learned a great deal about operating a pharmacy — and life in general — from their father, David A. Fettman.
Growing up, the younger Fettmans saw the work ethic, dedication and relationship building their father demonstrated in the daily operation of Davies Drugs Pharmacy.
“Dad used to work every hour the store was open,” Matthew said. “From 8:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Sunday.”
But those long hours didn’t negatively impact Fettman family time.
“We knew that if we wanted to spend time with dad, we just had to go to the pharmacy,” Steve said.
And, go to the pharmacy the Fettman boys did. Frequently.
Those visits inspired the brothers and drove their passion to continue in their father’s footsteps. Steve and Matthew are pharmacists. Michael is now living in Ft. Myers, Fla.
“Dad always used to say, ‘If you don’t take care of your customers, someone else will,’” Matthew said. “We learned early on how important customer service would be to our success.”
According to Matthew, visits to the store were not without perks.
“We’d often stop by Johnnie’s Bakery, Ben Heggy’s Candies and The Pizza Oven,” he said. “These independent businesses are what truly help separate Canton from other communities.”
David purchased Davies Drugs, which dates back to the 1930s, in 1963 from the Davies family. He kept the name because the pharmacy was well known and his first name was Dave.
Today, the Fettmans and Davies Drugs staff are committed to providing the highest level of healthcare with a sense of urgency and accuracy while holding the highest ethical standards and level of customer care.
That’s a tall order, but one that’s led the pharmacy to constantly look at what can be done to improve the health and enhance the comfort and independence of customers.
“We do what we can to ensure customers stay as comfortable as possible at home,” Steve said.
Davies Drugs, the oldest independent pharmacy in Canton, operates two locations, at 2915 Tuscarawas St. W in Canton and 6046 Whipple Ave. NW in North Canton.
Davies offers prescription refills and transfers, immunizations, multi-dose packaging, medication synchronization and free local delivery.
People can come to Davies Drugs to purchase Narcan (or naloxone products) without a prescription. This is important because of the large number of opioid deaths in our community.
“Narcan can save lives,” Steve said. “Many plans cover it with no charge to the patient. It’s one of few drugs that, even though it requires a prescription, we have a consult agreement so we’re able to sell it without a prescription.”
The store sells over-the-counter products including pain, cold and allergy medications, oral health products, first-aid products and shower and bath products.
The pharmacy also sells greeting cards, gift items, wheelchairs, lift chairs and orthopedic shoes.
Davies Drugs has even provided free eye and hearing screenings.
“We have all the products and services under one roof you can’t find at a big chain store,” Steve said. “And we offer that personal touch and flexibility others can’t.”
That’s not to say there aren’t challenging times in daily operations. The brothers have a way to cope.
“Steve gives me great advice when I get a little frustrated,” Matthew said. “He says, ‘Think about how dad would have handled the situation.’”
That often leads to a successful resolution.
Davies has close relationships with local healthcare providers like Aultman Hospital and Mercy Medical Center, insurance companies like AultCare, and physicians.
Unlike larger drug store chains, large retailers and grocery stores, Davies takes time to get to know customers and their needs. Davies also competes with online retailers.
“Your mailman shouldn’t be your pharmacist,” Steve said. “There isn’t a night that goes by that one of us isn’t making a personal delivery.”
Much has changed in the role of pharmacists. But the need for customer service, professionalism and trust remain.
“We’ve been involved in the health and wellness of generations of Stark County families,” Steve said. “As long as we take care of our customers, everything else takes care of itself.”
Staff members like Nancy Eckroate (an employee of 46 years who passed away), Christy Foster, and Shawn and Steve Anderson (formerly of Finney’s) have gone to great lengths to provide outstanding customer service.
Davies supports the community and gives back through its involvement with the Rotary Club, the J. Babe Stearn Community Center and many Stark County charities.
As long as the philosophies of David Fettman and his sons are in place,
Davies Drugs will continue supporting the community.
It’s clear this independent business also will play an important role in the health of and quality of life for Stark County residents.