A Healthy Dose of Customer Service Keeps Broadway Pharmacy Going Strong
Since opening its doors 14 years ago, the family-owned Broadway Pharmacy has made a name for itself by filling more than just prescriptions—it fills a void in today’s world of automated systems and faceless interactions. Here, customers are greeted by name, real people answer the phones, and prescriptions are filled on site—usually in less than 15 minutes.
But what really sets Broadway Pharmacy apart is its owner and pharmacist David Worsham’s commitment to customer service, and his belief that being a pharmacist is about so much more than merely dispensing medications.
“Pharmacists are best when they are compassionate humanitarians,” he says. “We try to identify with our customers and treat them like family.”
Walking into Broadway Pharmacy is like stepping back in time. The shelves are filled with the expected assortment of vitamins, supplements, and over-the-counter remedies interspersed with a few greeting cards, skin care, and an extensive line of SuperGoop sun and skincare products. There’s a space for customers to relax and enjoy a free gourmet coffee, and the basket of old fashioned “safety pops” that sits on the counter is as popular with the grown-ups as it is with the children who often refer to the pharmacy as “the lollipop shop.” In fact, the only thing that seems to be lacking from this cozy establishment is a soda fountain.
“Customers keep asking me when I’m going to put one in,” laughs Worsham.
The staff and pharmacists are all right behind the counter, ready to answer questions, consult on products, or simply chat—which is Worsham’s favorite part of his job.
“The best part of my day is the customer interactions,” he says.
A Self-Made Man
Worsham, a native of Port Lavaca, Texas, has a career that includes positions as the Regional Manager for Eckerd’s Drug Stores and the Pharmacy Manager at H-E-B Central Market, but he always had dreams of opening his own business. In fact, he got out of the pharmacy world for more than a decade to open Flowers To Go, growing it into the fourth largest florist in the nation before selling it to 1-800-Flowers. From there he opened an IPRO Express, a wholesale drug chain that sold to pharmacies.
“The entrepreneurial spirit has always been in my blood,” he confesses.
Leaving a successful corporate pharmacy career to open a mom and pop pharmacy in a market primarily dominated by chain establishments could’ve been daunting to many business owners, but Worsham says he never saw it as a challenge.
“I don’t see chains as competitors because they don’t do what we do,” he explains. “We may not have a drive-through, but we have a delivery service or, if you call ahead, you can just pull up and flash your lights, and we’ll take it out to your car. Moms of small children really appreciate that.”
Then there are the specialty services that range from compounding to immunizing, to a “concierge service” for older clients who need pill trays made.
“Sometimes it’s harder for elderly people to keep up with their medications,” explains Worsham. “We put all the doses in the trays for them, and all they have to do is open the compartment and take what’s inside.”
The extra mile is well traveled at Broadway Pharmacy, and it’s something that his customers have come to expect. Worsham trains his staff and pharmacists on maintaining that level of what he calls “community service.”
“We are a family oriented business, and we have two, three and even four generations of the same families doing business with us,” he says. “It’s so rewarding to know you have so many people trusting you.”
“Community” and “family” are not just “buzzwords” to Worsham, they are a way of life. He and his wife, Brenda, have been married for 47 years, and have two children and one granddaughter. His daughter, Corrie Washburn, left a career in teaching to go to pharmacy school at the age of 40. Today, she works side by side with her father.
“Part of the reason I became a teacher was to make a difference in people’s lives,” explains Washburn. “I can do that here with the customer service mentality of this business.”
Worsham is an active member of the Alamo Heights Chamber of Commerce, a lifetime member of the North San Antonio Chamber, and has served on boards including Junior Achievement, the Texas Pharmacy Association, and the National Community Pharmacists Association, as well serving as a faculty member at University of the Incarnate Word for seven years. It was there that he met Debbie Broussard, and now his former student works with him as a part-time pharmacist.
With Broussard and Washburn behind the counter, Worsham has more time to enjoy hobbies including golf and traveling to the Hill Country with his wife. As for what the future holds, he has no plans to expand, only to continue to do what he does best.
“My goal was always to be successful as an entrepreneur, not necessarily open a lot of stores,” he says. “When you’re successful, you don’t mess with it, you just keep it going.”
BY BONNY OSTERHAGE
PHOTOGRAPHY BY MARTIN WADDY