Allison Pharmacy to Close Joe and Pam Allison Will Retire from Auburn Business Scene After 44 Years
As of Aug. 1st, there will be one less pharmacy in Auburn. Joe and Pam Allison have decided to retire and sold Allison Pharmacy to Cody Kuszak of U-
Save Pharmacy. July 30 is the last day for Allison Pharmacy to be open.
Effective Aug. 1, customers with prescription files at Allison Pharmacy will have them transferred to U-Save Pharmacy, which already has a presence in this community at 2220 J Street.
The Allisons moved to Auburn in 1968 after Joe graduated from the University of Nebraska’s Pharmacy School, which at that time was located in Lincoln. Joe first worked for Simon Drug, which had a store downtown about a half-block south of the existing business. In 1976, the Allisons purchased the pharmacy from Chris Simon and continued to operate there for about nine years.
In 1985, they moved to the present 1118 J Street location after having much work completed on the building—which at one time housed separate businesses—one being a women’s clothing store and the other offices. The Allisons purchased the building from Max Leonard because it offered the space which they needed for the pharmacy and Hallmark Cards and Gifts store.
Pam Allison is the manager and buyer for the cards and gifts portion of the business.
When asked about some memorable times while serving the community, Pam said the fire which destroyed the adjacent Kelly’s Cafe directly north of Allison Pharmacy stands out in her mind. She remembers the fire around year 2000 came at the same time which J Street [Highway 75] was being reconstructed through Auburn. The fire caused extensive smoke damage and some water damage to Allison’s inventory, especially paper products. Merchandise which could be wiped clean was, but there was much which had to be thrown away, she said.
Another memory for Pam is the Beanie Baby craze which lasted quite a while. “It was probably a once-in-a-lifetime craze and I couldn’t believe how many of the Beanie Babies some people purchased,” Pam said.
While reminiscing, Joe can tell about the time which he unsuccessfully tried to stop a shoplifter. Upon noticing that a woman had taken an item without paying for it, Joe confronted her outside the store. During the scuffle, she bit him on the arm and escaped. However, not too much time had passed before the Auburn Police brought in a suspect for Joe to positively identify as the woman whom had shoplifted.
Joe says retirement will give him an opportunity to actually sit down at lunch and not have the normal six or so interruptions. He said a relaxed hot lunch seems appealing.
Another part in operating a pharmacy which he won’t miss involves the amount of paperwork “which has multiplied over the year due to health information privacy rules.” Allison said.
Faithful Staff Credited
The Allisons are quick to point out that a number of faithful staff made it possibly for their 44-year run. Those employees who served at least 15 years and some considerably longer were Sylvia Mannschreck, Lorene Boeck, Jan Teten and Kristy Garver. Garver remains on the staff and will likely find a spot on the payroll at U-Save Pharmacy. They said there were also many part-time employees who worked for them over the years.
The couple said U-Save Pharmacy will purchase Allison Pharmacy’s prescription drugs. The pharmacy will be closed July 31 to allow time for an inventory of the drugs to be completed. In order to clean out the card and gift portion of the business, the Allisons will have a 50 percent off sale on greeting cards and gifts beginning Aug. 1. This sale is expected to continue through the month. Products which will be on sale include Willow Tree, Jim Shore, Precious Moments, Ty Plush, Melissa & Doug (puzzles and games), Hallmark (cards, stationary, gift books and gift wrap), crystal and Amia stained glass.
The Allisons own the building which houses their store, and the adjacent Ingersoll Barber Shop to the south. They plan to continue renting space to Joe Ingersoll for his barber business.
When asked what they plan to do with more free time in the near future, Joe and Pam were quick to point out that they intend to spend more time with their children and be able to watch more of their grandchildrens’ activities.
Their oldest son, Patrick, and his wife, Kristen, reside in Alpharetta, Georgia, with their children Bryce, age 16, and Brooklyn, 11. Bryce plays high school football and Brooklyn participates in gymnastics. Patrick is a District Manager with Bristol-Myers Squibb, a global biopharmaceutical company.
Joe and Pam’s other son Brian and his daughters Emma 12, and Evie 8, live in Bellevue. Brian is Executive Director of Homecare with Children’s Hospital in Omaha.
The prospect of having more free time is also very appealing to Joe as he intends to hunt more, to resume fishing and to enjoy his classic cars. “I haven’t been fishing for some time and have friends who are looking forward to getting me out there,” he commented.
Pam hopes to do more traveling now that they won’t be as tied down with owning and operating a business.