Long-time Kingston drug store to close in November

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KINGSTON, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — It’s been mainstay of a Kingston neighborhood for decades. Now it will close its doors for good next week.

Customers of Pierce Drugs say it’s more than just a drugstore. The staff has become their family.

“I thought that this would be a bittersweet occasion, however I didn’t realize how hard it would be to say goodbye,” owner Paul Saxon said.

It’s been an emotional week at Pierce Drugs in Kingston. The store has been on the corner of Pierce Street and Gates Avenue since 1953. The store’s owners recently announced the popular spot is closing for good on November 3rd.

“I began working here in 1979 with Bill Wilson, and I purchased the store from Bill in 1985 and I’ve owned it since,” Saxon said.

Contrary to popular belief, the store is not closing due to the pandemic.

“Our business has still been as strong as it’s ever been. However it’s just got to the point where my wife Melissa and myself have decided we’re ready to retire,” Saxon said.

All day customers stopped at Pierce Drugs to say their final goodbyes. Beverly Turkin tells Eyewitness News she’s been a customer for 38 years. She was shocked when she heard the store was closing.

“I’m going to miss them and I’m going to miss everybody that works here,” Turkin said.

Starr Hamby, Saxon’s niece, started working at the store when she was 15. She says it’s more than just a pharmacy.

“They call us for advice. They call us when they have a flat tire on the side of the road and they don’t know who else to turn to. Our delivery guy often takes the trash out of people’s house for them cause they’re not able to do it themselves. I truly think that we’re a part of their family,” Hamby said.

Customers agree, saying it’s a completely different experience from a mainstream pharmacy.

“They know me by name, they know me by name, they know my face. They know my kids,” Cathy Shoemaker of Larksville said.

Saxon thanks his customers, his staff, and the community for their longtime support.

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