PHOTO: Sylvania Pharmacy owner Rodney Williams assists a customer (http//www.facebook.com/sylvaniapharmacy)
By C. Campbell, Staff Writer
SYLVANIA, Ala. — After a visit to the doctor, the next stop on the way home is often to the local pharmacy to pick up a prescription for whatever sickness needs combating. From the counter in large, big-box stores, to the small, locally owned drug store, their main purpose is to provide the necessary medication to make one’s body well again.
In Sylvania, this need is met by the good people of Sylvania Pharmacy. To them, their customers are more than just people needing to buy pharmaceuticals; they are members of the community deserving to be treated well.
Rodney Williams, owner of the pharmacy, stated that he purchased the drugstore in 2011, and had been looking to provide his customers with the best possible service ever since. He comes from a long line of William's that serve the public. His father, Hugh Don Williams, was co-owner of Dewey Williams store, along with his uncles, Dewey and G.R. Williams. His other uncle, Ray Williams, was the owner of Williams Feed Mill. They all taught Rodney how to treat customers and give back to his community.
One of the first things Williams did was to remove the answering machine. “When you call here, a real person will answer,” he said. Doing this paved the way for Sylvania Pharmacy to serve their customers the old-fashioned way.
“We take the time to get to know our customers and treat them like family. They’re not just another number,” Williams explained.
To further ensure that his customers get everything they need, Williams said that he provides them with his home and cell numbers, so that they can call in case of emergencies, no matter how late the hour.
While Williams and everyone at Sylvania Pharmacy do their best to take good care of those who need prescriptions filled, he emphasized that they are not out to compete with other small, local pharmacies in DeKalb County.
“My main competition comes from mail-order services and big-box stores,” he said.
Williams explained the key difference between him and his competitors was that, while the mail-order and big-box services care primarily about their corporate profits, he cares about his customers. The mail order companies have also become a growing source of confusion for our senior population. They feel coerced into using these. And sometimes confusion leads to a lack of compliance with their medication.
In addition to treating his customers like family, he does what he can to give back to the community. For example, he noted that, if one was to go over to Sylvania High School and look at their athletic facilities, Sylvania Pharmacy signs would be there, showing their support for the Rams sports teams. By caring more about the people in his community than his bottom line, Williams further demonstrates the core values that drive Sylvania Pharmacy.
Located at the intersection of Industrial Lane and Highway 75, Sylvania Pharmacy occupies a convenient location for its customers to stop by and fill up their medicines. While there may come a day when small, locally-owned stores like Sylvania Pharmacy may become a thing of the past, Rodney Williams and his staff will continue to serve their customers with the same quality and care they have come to be known for until that time comes.