Valley Pharmacy celebrates half a century in business

Published 9:00 am Thursday, May 2, 2024

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A local institution celebrated a big milestone on Wednesday. The Valley Pharmacy and its longtime owner and pharmacist, John Minter, RPH, have been in the community for 50 years. On Wednesday, community members, customers and staff congregated to celebrate Minter. 

While a pharmacy has been in the location since 1952, it wasn’t until Minter bought the pharmacy in 1974 that it was named Valley Pharmacy. Minter would own and operate it from May 1, 1974 to June 1, 2012, when Angie, his longtime coworker, and Craig Moore took over the business. Minter has continued as the staff pharmacist.

“I learned a lot from John. I learned that our customers are first. We always keep them first. They are our friends, our family,” Angie said. 

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Angie has worked at Valley for over three decades, many of those alongside Minter. 

“John [Minter] has molded me into the person I am today,” Angie said. “I briefly took a job at CVS…It didn’t take me long to realize I wasn’t at Valley Pharmacy anymore.”

The event took place outside the storefront, where those who had worked for the pharmacy over the years spoke. Angie said while the milestone is more the pharmacy itself, they really wanted to celebrate Minter and his own 50 years as a pharmacist. 

Minter graduated from Auburn University in 1970. Afterward, he worked at various local pharmacies. Four years later he bought what was Genes Drug and renamed it after the town he grew up in. 

“He’s a lifelong resident. He understands how the people think,” Craig said. “Way back to like the foundation of a textile community, there was just a certain level of kinship amongst the people. He continued that with his good personality and good humor.”

Craig read a proclamation made by the Alabama House of Representatives that recognized Minter and the Pharmacy on the milestone. 

Part of the proclamation reads, “During his time as a small business owner and pharmacist, John Minter has seen a great deal of change in the Valley area and in general pharmacy practices, including the introductions of computers and insurance drug cards; however, the one thing that has not changed is John’s commitment to the health and well-being of the community and his love and devotion to his customers.”

After the speeches outside, the crowd entered the store, where the walls were decorated with old medicine bottles and advertisements used over the years. A cake with a large 5 and 0 was cut and old friends and customers congratulated the Minter on his milestone.