After several years of working for big chains like Walmart and Walgreens, Erik Mabus and his wife, Jenny, are ready to venture out on their own. The North Dover couple believes there is room for a small pharmacy in the revitalization of downtown Dover.
By the age 10, local pharmacist Erik Mabus ran a cash register at the mom-and-pop grocery store his parents owned.
“Every day they preached smiling and just being nice to the customers,” Mabus said. “At that age it didn't always sink in, but by the time I was preparing for college I knew I wanted to work with the public.”
After several years of working for big chains like Walmart and Walgreens, Mabus and his wife, Jenny, are ready to venture out on their own. The North Dover couple believes there is room for a small pharmacy in the revitalization of downtown Dover.
Bayard Pharmacy is scheduled to open in the new Bayard Plaza off West Loockerman Street in autumn.
As Erik and Jenny Mabus see it, there is not just room for the little guy on the block. They can thrive in an era when the big Rx chains have cut back on services in order to maximize profit for shareholders, they said.
“Pharmacy has changed a lot in my time in the industry,” Erik Mabus said. “When I graduated [from Pitt] it was my dream to have my own pharmacy. Unfortunately the big chains were just really starting to dominate the industry. They were driven by investors with lots of money and the chains were able to grow very large very quickly. It just didn't seem to be a reality to think of competing at that time.”
But times have changed, he said. The insurance companies got tighter with their reimbursements and that led to changes in order to maximize profit.
“We hope to make patients realize they have a choice.” Erik Mabus said.
Jenny Mabus will be the office manager and handle the bookwork, payroll and merchandising. Erik Mabus will focus on running the pharmacy and delivering prescription service in a timely, professional and friendly manner. And they plan to have a state of the art website where customers can refill their prescriptions.
In order to survive the first year, they will need to fill about 90 to100 prescriptions a day to break even, Erik Mabus said.
But they feel their plan is strong based on meetings with Dover Economic Development Office Director Bill Neaton and coordinator Ed Perez, thanks to a referral from Partners in Design.
That office led the Mabus family to Bobbie Schmittinger, a business consultant through the YWCA & Delaware Center for Women's Entrepreneurship.
“Whenever we would get bogged down under the details or just start to tire of all the planning she would keep us going and direct us to where we needed to be,” Erik Mabus said of Schmittinger.
From there, Erik and Jenny sought financing from Lynn Schaefer at the Dover Federal Credit Union.
“We met with Lynn Schaefer and immediately felt like we were home talking with family,” Erik Mabus said. “She believed in our plan and partnered with the fine people of DEDO to combine on our loan.”
Lastly, the Mabus couple believes that a good business plan means nothing without being ingrained into the fabric of the Dover community. They plan to sponsor Little League and soccer teams. And they plan to start the "Bayard Pharmacy Cares" charity whereby they will donate 25 cents for each prescription filled for use in community programs.
They plan to work with the Modern Maturity Center and the Capital School District, where they have three daughters, and other interested community groups.