South Charlotte

Independent pharmacy opens on Ardrey Kell

This week's Shoptalk looks at one arrival to the south Mecklenburg retail scene and one departure:

Staffers at Walker's Drug Store, opening tomorrow at the Fountains shopping center on Ardrey Kell Road, promise a homey alternative to the big chain pharmacies.

Walker's Drug is an independent pharmacy serving the Charlotte community since 1918. Its other location is on Colwick Road near Cotswold Mall.

The atmosphere is old-school pharmacy – minus the soda fountain, said Lisa Foy, one of the managers of the Ballantyne area location.

The store handles home or office prescription deliveries for $3. Foy said they plan to serve customers at Sun City Carolina Lakes in Lancaster, S.C., the Charlotte area's largest active adult community.

Walker's will also provide flu shots, compounding (mixing drugs, creams or flavorings together) and blood pressure checks. In addition to over-the-counter drugs, the store keeps home health care items in stock, such as braces, walkers and canes.

The store is sponsoring a special diabetes event at its grand opening Oct. 8. Customers with an older model OneTouch blood glucose meter can trade it in for a new one, free.

The store's pharmacists include co-owners Jeff Lemelin and Nathan Ikner; Dan Lemelin, who is the former owner of the Cotswold store location and Jeff's dad; Amy Kern and Julie Whitsett. Web site: www.walkersdrug

The Get Healthy! Resource Center in Toringdon is closed, less than a year after its grand opening last November.

The store was themed around the “Hallelujah Diet” founded by George Malkmus, who later launched Hallelujah Acres, a Christian ministry based in Shelby, about an hour west of Charlotte. The diet is based on the premise that everything human bodies need – or “God's original diet,” as Malkmus calls it – was in the Garden of Eden.

The store sold books and equipment, such as juicers. It also sponsored cooking classes and lectures.

A Hallelujah Acres mailing to customers announced the closing of the centers in Charlotte and Greenville.

“While we trust the Resource Centers have been a blessing to you, the business model did not allow us to fulfill the original vision we had for the centers,” the letter said.

Customers who paid for classes in advance will get a pro-rated refund mailed to them. For information, call 866-295-7794.