Friday, October 14, 2011

Rayner's Drug Store

From the Meridian Star – edited for length.

July 30, 2006

Rayner Drugs owner finishes a chapter

In 1947, Ben Quintana moved to Meridian to work as a pharmacist at Rayner Drugs on Front Street. The McComb native bought the store in the early 1970s. Since then, he and his wife, Sarah, have run the business.

Quintana remembers when high school boys on bicycles used to deliver medicines each day, and he remembers giving discounts to his regular customers.

But those days are coming to an end. Rayner Drugs plans to close its doors on Monday after more than 80 years in downtown Meridian.

The 84-year-old said he tried to keep the business open, but no one was interested in buying it. He said large discount stores are making it harder for independent pharmacies to keep up, and he believes the days of independent pharmacies are numbered.

“A lot of my older customers have died off and I haven’t been able to replace them because of the discount stores,” Quintana said. “Big corporations are able to buy drugs cheaper than an independent pharmacy.”

Products in the gift section of Rayner Drugs, which was managed by Mrs. Quintana until recently, are on sale. They include gifts such as 1st Edition Cabbage Patch Dolls, other collectible dolls, decorative fans, greeting cards and gifts.

I never see photos of what was, but is no more, without this song forming in my mind. A lot of truth in it... for lots of folks.


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