Brick, Mortar, and Pestle

The timing was perfect for Jacob and Kari Mayer.

The co-owners of Paul’s Pharmacy (with two locations in Evansville) had been looking for the right stand-alone building with high visibility for their East Side location. Turns out, the spot that worked for them was not too far from their location inside Washington Square Mall — it was just outside in the former Premiere Video building.

“I had been approached about other spaces, but they weren’t quite what I was looking for,” says Jacob. “When the owners of the mall came to me and said this building was open, I thought it was a good possibility. It has easy accessibility, parking, and is very visual.”

It’s hard to miss the new Paul’s East Side location, which opened in October 2019. Drivers along South Green River Road will likely catch the colorful and unique mural painted on the side of the building as they pass by.

“It’s been fun,” says Kari of the art. “Kids come by and do their senior photos out here. During the Christmas dance season, we had some come by and do photos then, too.”

The exterior is just the start of the new experience the location offers customers. Upon stepping inside, it’s hard to believe the store is a pharmacy, save for the traditional counter with staff members ready to help fill prescriptions or answer medication questions. The décor of Paul’s Pharmacy East resembles more of a homey farmhouse store than an industrial-style pharmaceutical business.

“We wanted to get a space that was more welcoming,” says Jacob. “We wanted more of a homey feel, where you are resting, relaxing, and just starting your journey to get better.”

Paul’s Pharmacy has a long history in Evansville, starting with Jacob’s father. Paul Mayer began his career when he was young, delivering medications on his bicycle for the former Canon Drug Store on Franklin Street in the 1950s and ’60s. In March 1977, Paul took the next step by purchasing Canon Drug Store, renaming it Paul’s Pharmacy.

From the beginning, Paul kept the focus on his customers and also on investing in technology for his business. Paul’s was one of the first pharmacies in Evansville to computerize its processes. It’s a tradition his son has continued. Jacob joined his father’s pharmacy staff in 2001 after graduating from Purdue University. It was later that year the father-and-son team opened the East Side location on Professional Boulevard just off Washington Avenue. The business moved into Washington Square Mall in December 2011.

As the pharmacy has continued over the years, new technology has allowed Jacob, Kari, and their staff to offer a high level of service. Paul’s has IVR, an interactive voice response phone system, which gives customers the option to leave voice mails and call in after-hour prescription refills. The pharmacy also utilizes ScriptPro, an automated prescription technology that counts and labels filled prescriptions.

▲ Paul’s Pharmacy East Retail Manager Arielle Ricketts is just one of the many staff members who greet and assist customers at the retail pharmacy. The staff’s knowledge of products are what help Paul’s stand out in the community, says Kari. “Arielle is just a wealth of knowledge,” she adds.

Paul and Jacob also opened a closed-door pharmacy in 2009, which only serves skilled nursing homes, assisted living and group homes, and waivered homes instead of the general populace. It also houses robots that do unit packaging of medications.

The new East Side Paul’s Pharmacy incorporates the technology with a boutique approach toward the care of its customers and patients. Jacob and Kari not only took time to research a location but also met with pharmacy owners from across the country. They also hired a creative team highly recommended by other pharmacies, Cre8 Sales and Marketing, to help them with the redesign.

“I wanted to do this for years,” says Jacob. “I wanted to bring in and build up the retail space. I just didn’t have the knowledge to get what I wanted. With this, I got to see how creative people can be. Some of the things they can do with spaces is pretty neat.”

“They got to know everything about our family,” adds Kari. “They didn’t just ask us what we wanted for the pharmacy. They wanted to know our kids, our in-laws, everyone in the family, what we stood for, and our beliefs. They turned that into the face of the pharmacy.”

The design of the store also includes elements of science tied to the pharmacy — hexagons and benzene rings appear in different décor pieces while light fixtures resemble beakers.

Just as important to the couple as the comfortable feel of the space were the products they could offer the community. Paul’s sells a private label vitamin and supplement line, which has been carefully crafted by input from Jacob. The Image skin product line provides different levels of care for customers to find the perfect fit and typically is only sold in dermatology offices. They also offer an all-natural makeup line, Glo, which ensures purity and longevity without the use of parabens or talc. Paul’s also has a variety of selections for men’s care as well, visible right as customers walk in the door. The pharmacy even carries a pet line. And the majority of products are made in the U.S. and as natural and organic as possible.

“We wanted to make sure there were options out there for everything — pets, kids, women, men, essential oils, and wellness,” says Kari.

“We’ve gone to some of the larger cities and found small, boutique-style locations with some nice, good products that you just couldn’t find elsewhere in the city,” adds Jacob. “Bringing that feel into Evansville was something the city and the community was ready for.”

The staff at Paul’s Pharmacy is a big benefit as well, adds Kari, not only in their friendliness to both new and old customers, but also their knowledge of the products.

“You are only as good as the team that stands behind you. We really have the best staff in town,” she says. “I think the staff does an amazing job of giving their best to make everyone feel their best, too.”
The new store along South Green River Road allows the Mayers and their staff to expand on the idea of what a pharmacy means to the community of Evansville. But to Jacob and Kari, this new chapter in the story of Paul’s Pharmacy simply is a continuation of what the store has been known for over the last 50 years — combining the latest pharmacy innovations with the best options for their customers.

“Everything has been focused on better health for the patient and customer. I think this is just another phase of that,” says Jacob. “We’re finding good products out there and getting them to the community to increase the quality of life.”

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