Staying relevant and beating the odds—three life lessons from an independent pharmacist who has been in business 50 years and counting.
This year, Dave Nelson celebrated 50 years as a pharmacist at Sav Mor Drug in Twin Falls, Idaho. Dave has made every person who walks through their door, whether employee or customer, feel like they are the most important person in Twin Falls, something he says is what makes his store special.
Meet challenges head-on
The survival of the pharmacy over the years was not always a sure thing. Like many storefronts, the pharmacy hit hard times as the city started to see growth outside of downtown. Two new shopping centers and national pharmacy chains created a decrease in evening and weekend traffic for the business, but it didn’t dampen Dave’s enthusiasm for the business in any way. In fact, he took it as a challenge to find new ways to stay relevant. As an independently owned business, Sav Mor has been able to make quick decisions and respond to their community needs.
Be customer service-focused, and find your niche
Dave took it upon himself to find a new niche that could keep him in business and made his most important business decision: be patient and customer-service focused. Finding niche markets and products has helped Dave thrive. He has found success selling everything from hula hoops to puzzles. A walk into Sav Mor and you will see items like old-fashioned candy and Grandpa’s Pine Tar Soap. Patrons can buy bottled coke from a vintage coke machine and nuts from Johnson’s machine. Sav Mor even offers a popular handcrafted beer and wine-making section. Dave’s decision to provide family-quality service and his ability to identify unique sales niches for his pharmacy are exemplary lessons for any independent pharmacy looking to last for years.
Value your community and be genuine
Dave believes in the importance of community in independent business. He said, “Being in the downtown area, where it is primarily independently owned businesses, provides a different ambiance. We have great businesses like restaurants, eateries, entertainment, and shops that bring in foot traffic.”
It doesn’t take much time to get to know Dave. He wears his character, his drive and his passion on his sleeve. It comes from a genuine place of wanting to do right by his customers and his employees.
Every person, no matter who they are, or where they are in life, is just as important to him.
WSPC would like to congratulate Dave Nelson on 50 Years!