‘Corporate refugees’ celebrate anniversary

Beacon Falls Pharmacy celebrated its 10th anniversary on Nov. 5. Pictured, from left, Beacon Falls Pharmacy co-owner and pharmacist Marion Bradley, co-owner Robert Bradley, pharmacy technician Amanda Keenan and pharmacy technician Dawn Rasinski. –LUKE MARSHALL

Beacon Falls Pharmacy celebrated its 10th anniversary on Nov. 5. Pictured, from left, Beacon Falls Pharmacy co-owner and pharmacist Marion Bradley, co-owner Robert Bradley, pharmacy technician Amanda Keenan and pharmacy technician Dawn Rasinski. –LUKE MARSHALL

BEACON FALLS — On Nov. 5, 2005 a small independent pharmacy opened its doors for the first time in Beacon Falls.

A decade later, Beacon Falls Pharmacy has become a well-known town landmark on Main Street.

“We’re still here 10 years later. That’s better than a lot of businesses can say, unfortunately. We’re pleased. It’s a great little town,” said Robert Bradley, who owns the pharmacy with his wife Marion.

The Bradleys decided to go into business for themselves after working in corporate America. Robert worked in the information technology industry and Marion worked as a pharmacist for CVS.

“We had both wanted to own our own business and not have to work for corporate America. Corporate America gets old. I describe ourselves as being refugees from corporate America,” Robert Bradley said.

Since they opened the doors to their pharmacy, people have kept coming in.

“It’s been challenging but rewarding. It’s been slow growth, but it has been growth every year. Just the fact that our customers are our neighbors and friends and we can support the local teams is great. It’s nice to see Beacon Falls Pharmacy on the back of somebody’s jersey,” Marion Bradley said.

First Selectman Christopher Bielik said the Bradleys are known for much more than the pharmacy — namely the time and energy they spend volunteering in town.

“More than just having a good thriving local business in town and having a local pharmacy people can trust, the great work that is done by both Bob and Marion in the community is immeasurable,” Bielik said.

Bielik said the Bradleys help out in whatever way they can, including assisting with bottle and can drives and allowing civic groups to host car wash fundraisers at the pharmacy.

“It is amazing to me what a valuable resource that is,” Bielik said. “I don’t know how the town got along before they were there.”

Robert Bradley said they help in the community because it’s just what they do.

“It’s just who we are. I think we would just be doing a lot of that same stuff whether we were involved in the store or not. We just get a little more visibility because people know us,” Robert Bradley said. “We just get involved in stuff. And it’s not to get the credit for it. If it brings in business, that’s great, but that’s not why we do it. We do it because that’s who we are and what we do. We want to be part of a community and that’s what being part of a community is.”

The past decade hasn’t always been easy for Beacon Falls Pharmacy.

Last year, Gov. Dannel Malloy passed a program for state workers meant to save them money on their prescriptions. However, the program, which was administered by CVS, would cause Beacon Falls Pharmacy to lose money on every prescription they filled. This meant the pharmacy could no longer take those customers.

“That was huge. We lost 80 customers,” Marion Bradley said

“These are long term customers. These are our close friends. We had people weeping in the store because they can’t come to us anymore,” Robert Bradley added.

Despite the difficulties, the Bradleys have a positive outlook for the future. And what will the next 10 years hold for the pharmacy? More of the same.

“We are just going to keep doing what we’ve always been doing,” Robert Bradley said. “We are going to keep having the kids having car washes in our parking lots, keep having the kids have bottle and can drives, and cookie and cake sales, keep supporting the local charities. We’re just going to do what we can to help people out whenever they need it. Our number is still in the phonebook and people can call us when they have an emergency at 2 a.m. They have and they will.”