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Rogers Pharmacy marks 35 years in business (w/video)

By Jessica Rodrigo
July 25, 2014 at 2:25 a.m.

Bruce Rogers, 63, takes a prescription from Tommy Joost, a Rogers Pharmacy driver, left, as he worked from one of his five Victoria pharmacies  Friday. Rogers owns and operates seven pharmacies in Victoria, Port Lavaca and Galveston County.

Timeline of Rogers PHARMACY

• 1975: Bruce Rogers moves to Victoria with his wife Elizabeth to work for Skillern's Drug Co.

• 1979: Skillern's Drug Co. closes, and Bruce Rogers opens his first Rogers Pharmacy at the corner of Mockingbird Lane and Laurent Street.

• 1985-86: Rogers Pharmacy purchases two community pharmacies, Totah's Pharmacy and Ladner Professional Pharmacy.

• 1990: Two locations are added to Rogers Pharmacy: Citizens Medical Plaza and DeTar Medical Plaza.

• 1995: Bruce and Elizabeth Rogers purchase a space on North Laurent Street to open Rogers Home Medical Equipment and Services.

• 1997: Rogers Pharmacy moves into its fourth location in the Victoria Regional Medical Plaza.

2009: Bruce Rogers opens a Medicine Man Pharmacy in Santa Fe in Galveston County.

2012: Medicine Man Pharmacy acquires a second location in Port Lavaca.

2014: Rogers Pharmacy welcomes its fifth location on the corner of Navarro and Glascow streets.

Source: Bruce Rogers, owner of Rogers Pharmacy

Meet Bruce Rogers

• Age: 63

• Hometown: Dickinson

• Residence: Victoria

Family: Wife, Elizabeth; three sons, Wilson, Stephen and John

• Education: University of Texas at Austin

• Hobbies: Hunting and fishing

If you ask Bruce Rogers about what it's like to own seven pharmacies, his response will be simple.

"It still feels like I own one store," the 63-year-old owner of Rogers Pharmacy said.

He opened his first pharmacy in 1979 at the corner of Mockingbird Lane and Laurent Street when Skillern's Drugstore decided to close its Victoria location.

At the time, the then-28-year-old Rogers was the pharmacy manager. He saw the closing as an opportunity to open his own business.

"I still have customers who started with me," he said.

In July 1979, he opened his first Rogers Pharmacy. This year marks the 35th anniversary.

With help from his wife, Elizabeth, Rogers has been able to expand his business to include seven locations in Victoria, Port Lavaca and Santa Fe in Galveston County. He's also added extra helping hands when two of his three sons joined the staff to oversee the books and the home medical equipment portion of the business.

Wilson Rogers, 32, manages Rogers Home Medical Equipment and Services, while Stephen Rogers, 35, manages the business' finances.

"I enjoy it," said Stephen Rogers. "It's a lot of responsibility, but I like it."

The eldest son also said it would be a lot of work to take over the business one day, but he imagines he could eventually fill his dad's shoes.

A day in the shoes of Bruce Rogers includes a lot of time at the office handling correspondence as the chairman for the Texas Pharmacy Business Council and one of the founders of the American Pharmacies group, which is a member-owned buying co-op that helps community pharmacies negotiate contracts with other pharmacies.

He spends some days checking in with staff at the various locations and other days he can be found behind the counter taking calls or filling prescriptions.

"I always enjoy one-on-one contact with the customer. Sometimes, I'll work as a pharmacist all day," he said.

He added that he still operates by the pharmacy's slogan - "Fair prices, friendly service and a pharmacist you know."

Genelle Goyen, of Victoria, is a longtime patron of Rogers Pharmacy. The staff have become her extended family, she said.

"They're always asking about how I am doing," said the 77-year-old. "I feel very comfortable with them."

Goyen recalled a time when she had to call the pharmacy after hours for help and they picked up the phone.

She said she's also confident they'll make sure she isn't taking any medication that doesn't work well when combined with other prescriptions.

"They are good about catching it before it happens. My health is in good hands with them," Goyen said.

Because she lives on the north side of Victoria, she said the newest Rogers Pharmacy - at Glascow and North Navarro streets - has shortened her commute through town. However, she said she's had to make new friends with the two women who that run the new store.

"I've been going there since it opened, but I miss the other staff," she said. "But I still go over there sometimes."

The customer service is nothing short of what she expects from Rogers Pharmacy employees. Goyen described the pharmacy owner as a sweet, caring man who has taught all of his staff to give the same amount of care that he shows his patients - new or old.

"I try to preach to my staff that you treat a customer the way you want to be treated. Everyone expects the same level of service," Rogers said.

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