By Michelle Price
UCBJ Managing Editor
BAXTER – It had always been a dream for Baxter native Lana Huddleston Jared to open a “hometown” pharmacy in the town where she grew up. Earlier this fall, she saw that dream become a reality with the opening of Baxter Pharmacy.
Still, people question why she wanted to open a new business during the COVID pandemic.
Jared smiles as she says, “I was created for a time such as this, and so was Baxter Pharmacy, to be a light back into the community and to bring some peace, some joy. If you come in here and you don’t smile, you will smile when you leave.”
And smile, you will. Jared’s enthusiasm is contagious.
The front of the pharmacy has a gift shop. “Whether it be for Christmas, birthdays or just because you want something,” Jared wants her customers to be able to pick up gifts without “going to town.”
“We have Christmas décor right now,” she said. “Woodwick Candles, snowmen, some Christmas trees, Christmas tins – I know Christmas tins are real popular right now.”
Although small, the pharmacy is equipped to serve all your medicinal needs. There are even plans to start compounding (drugs) in the next year and to add a prescription delivery service.
Jared’s slogan is “Back to Baxter,” and she encourages everyone to move their prescriptions back to Baxter. But, Jared truly looks at opening the pharmacy as her returning back to Baxter too.
Jared graduated from Upperman in 2000 and graduated from the University of Tennessee pharmacy school in 2010. After graduation, she worked at Cookeville Regional Medical Center and the Cookeville VA Clinic before making her dream to return home a reality.
Giving back to the community is a central focus of Jared’s dream. That starts with supporting the local school.
“We have a sign over at the football field,” Jared said. “We’re supporting the baseball team, the basketball team, the FFA, the yearbook – giving back to the community.
“We are truly local. If a customer wants to get their medicine here, they are also giving back to their community. I’ve always wanted to open my own pharmacy in my own hometown and give back. When patients come here, they are part of giving back to their community. So, I think that’s very important.”
The adjacent suite in the building is currently vacant. It was initially being built for a pediatrician that backed out, so the owner is looking for another medical provider to occupy the space. The space is already framed for patient rooms, with a walk-out lab.
Jared hopes that the owner is successful in finding another medical professional for next door.
“This would be like a little medical plaza,” she said. “You could go to the medical provider over there, get your medicine here, do some quick shopping, and you’re on your way home. Very convenient.”
Baxter Pharmacy is located at 6354 Nashville Hwy in Baxter. Store hours are Monday – Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. For more information, call 931-858-MEDS (6337).