Glover Drug offers 'hope'

Friday, July 27, 2012

CORDOVA, Ala. – More than a year after tornadoes demolished his pharmacy—as well as most of this tiny town—pharmacist Ken Glover has rebuilt.

“I had invested years of my life and money there and we had a host of employees there that would be jobless,” said Glover, owner of Ken Glover Drug. “The community had a need and we realized there was nothing else coming back.”

Alabama was hit hard when record-breaking tornadoes swept through a seven-state area on April 27, 2011. 

Today, much of downtown Cordova remains unchanged, with a chain link fence to keep people from damaged buildings and shuttered businesses, said Glover.

“We thought rebuilding would do more than just create a place for folks to trade,” he said. “It might create some type of hope that there’s a future here.”

The new 2,500-square-foot store, which opened July 2, is located little more than a block from the old store. It’s an upgrade in many ways, said Glover. The brand-new building offers more space and parking, automated technology for dispensing prescriptions, and a large medical practice next door.

“We have a door that goes directly into their waiting room,” he said. “The patients can wander around in our store while they are waiting to see the doctor.”

The new store offers cash items and will feature vignettes of home medical equipment in use, although large items like hospital beds will be sold through the main store in Dora. Also new: Glover plans to stock a few basic grocery items, like bread and milk, to fill a void left when the local grocery store opted not to rebuild.

Glover estimates he retained about 85% of his customers after the tornado, serving them from his Dora location and from a 12-foot by 56-foot trailer turned into a makeshift pharmacy.

“I think that this community is so tight knit and supportive, even the ones that scattered are coming home,” he said.