The Bayard Pharmacy held it's grand opening on Thursday.

Erik Mabus has been dreaming about owning his own pharmacy for a long time. He spent the last 20 years working for corporate chain pharmacies, but when he started to notice a decline in customer service, Mabus decided it was time to break out on his own.

On Thursday, Mabus held the grand opening for Bayard Pharmacy, which is housed on the ground floor of the Bayard Plaza building. There are 48 apartments housed above the pharmacy.

The pharmacy is located where the Bayard Hotel used to reside. The hotel fell into disrepair and was torn down to make way for the new Bayard Plaza building. The hotel was torn down in August 2011 and work began on the foundation of the building in October 2011.

“I’ve always thought of pharmacies as the corner stone of a community,” Mabus said. “Downtown Dover didn’t have a pharmacy. We want to become part of the community, we want to be involved in providing a service.”

One way that Erik is working to make the pharmacy part of the community is by giving back. The pharmacy has a program called Bayard Pharmacy Cares. When a patron fills a prescription at the pharmacy they can choose a charity from the list of 10 that Mabus has designated 25 cents is donated to that charity.

Family, friends and community members all crowded into the pharmacy. Gov. Jack Markell, Dover Mayor Carleton Carey, and Lt. Gov. Matt Denn were all on hand for the opening.

“I think it will draw more people into downtown,” said Carey. “I’m really excited. A drug store is an important part of what you need to have a good downtown.”

According to Jenny Mabus, the creation of the pharmacy has required support and sacrifice from the whole family. Jenny was on the verge of completing her degree in interior design when her husband came to her and asked for her help and support. Jenny left school in order to help her husband realize his dream.

“They worked so hard to do this, and it took a while but they had the motivation and they worked hard,” said Liv Reisinger, Jenny’s grandmother.

She’s found ways to put her education to use. All of the paint colors and design touches in the pharmacy were picked out by Jenny.

The couple’s three daughters also made their fair share of sacrifices.

“Our kids have eaten cold cereal for dinner for six months straight,” Jenny said.

Chloe Mabus expressed pride in her parents, despite what they may have fed her for dinner.

“Seeing a lot of people come in is really cool,” she said. “It’s nice to know that they [Jenny and Erik] were able to hold up. They were under a lot of stress. It’s cool to see it become real.”