So many staples make Russellville the Mayberry-like, picturesque town that it is. From the eclectic array of superb eateries, the peppy joggers who fill the sidewalks of Main Street, down to the friendly faces working cheerfully in our local businesses, you cannot make it a mile without finding a bit of small town charm.
To many, the employees and owners of “home grown” businesses that residents trust to do their dry cleaning, file their taxes and fill their prescriptions are more like honorary family members than someone to provide a service.
C&D Drug Store, located in Downtown Russellville, embodies and boasts of all things mentioned above, and has been an asset to the community for years. Their location alone has a rich history dating so far back that it is difficult to trace.
“There has been a drug store in this location, we think, since 1877. It has been a drug store ever since,” said co-owner and pharmacist, R.D. Walker.
In 1958 R.D.’s father, Dale Walker, and his partner, Charles Oates, went into business together establishing C&D (Charles and Dale) Drug Store. “I remember a conversation with Charles, he said it was such a great partnership because the partners got along, the wives got along, and all of the kids got along,” recalled R.D. Through several sets of hands, remodels and expansions this full-service pharmacy has been and will remain a family business. R.D. and his wife, Johnna, own the pharmacy together. Their niece, Yanci Walker, is a staff pharmacist.
“I feel so fortunate to have the opportunity to work with my uncle, R.D. I love seeing, hearing and feeling the family history every day at work. Charles Oates, R.D. and Melinda Reams (staff pharmacist) have been world class mentors,” said Yanci Walker, daughter of the late C&D pharmacist, Robert Walker. “My cousin, Will Walker, just graduated from pharmacy school, and his sister, Courtney, is starting her final year. I am very proud of them both!”
While C&D is a traditional pharmacy and snack bar, their approaches and methods are advanced and high quality. “There is a specialty in pharmacy called compound pharmacy. We are a compounding pharmacy, and that just means that we can custom make a product that is not commercially available. It takes some training and we go to Houston for training and to stay up to date,” said R.D.
Convenience and accommodating customer needs is important to C&D, whether it is masking the yucky flavor of your child’s medicine or delivering your medicine to your doorstep. “We do delivery. We understand that people do not have time to go sit in a drive-thru for 25 minutes. We will bring it to you at work, if you are at home with a sick baby, the nursing home, retirement center, whatever it is,” said R.D.
The saying “do work you love and you will never work a day in your life,“ seems to be a perfect quote to sum up C&D. “ I love coming to work every day. I love coming to work downtown every day! The last few years, Downtown Russellville has had a surge, and our customers love the old building and the feel of the area,” said Walker.
“I believe almost anywhere you go, the Downtown is the heart and soul of the city. Our Downtown once was, and is back on track to being so once again. I am very lucky to live, work and play in Russellville’s Downtown! I have friends who come and visit and are blown away with the progress,” added Yanci Walker.