Walgreens just the Rx for Frick: Longtime Sequim drugstore sells pharmacy to retail giant
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Jeff Chew/Peninsula Daily News
Amanda Dickinson, a durable medical equipment specialist at Frick Drugs, shows the line of scooters now available at the 63-year-old Sequim business that will remain the same but has sold its pharmacy to Walgreens drugtore nearby on West Washington Street.

By Jeff Chew
Peninsula Daily News

SEQUIM -- The owners of Frick Drugs, a Sequim business mainstay for 63 years, have sold their pharmacy to Walgreens drugstore at Fifth Avenue and Washington Street, but the rest of the store will remain independent and family-owned.

Co-owner and longtime pharmacist Cy Frick and his pharmacist of more than 30 years, Jim Benson, will join the Walgreens pharmacy, 490 W. Washington St., in the coming week as part of the deal, said co-owner Ella Frick.

"We are 72 years old," Ella Frick said, explaining why they sold their pharmacy.

"We are not selling out because the chains have taken us over," she said.

"We are doing it because we feel at our age it is time."

Ella said she wanted Frick customers to know that Cy Frick and Jim Benson would still be there for them -- just at a new location.

"They are not walking away from them," she said, adding Cy and Jim will add a local value to Walgreens' corporate franchise in Sequim.

The sale price was not disclosed.

Cy and Ella Frick have owned the business for 47 years, taking it over from Cy's parents, Bud and Dora, in 1964 after they founded Frick Drugs in downtown Sequim in 1947, at the space where Blue Whole Gallery is today, 129 W. Washington St.

The store will change its business sign today at its Sequim Village Center location next to JCPenney at 609 Sequim Village Center, Ella said.

The "drugs" portion of the name will be dropped and she said "Healthcare -- Medical Equipment -- Photo" will be added to the Frick sign fronting the store.

She said employees are trained to fit customers with braces, and cancer patients with breast prosthetics.

"I will be still managing [the store] and Cy will be in and out," she said of her husband of 50 years. They celebrated their golden wedding anniversary in August.

All three Frick children -- Douglas, Craig and Sonja -- grew up working at the store. Douglas Frick is now living with his family in Laramie, Wyo., and Craig and his family live in Oslo, Norway.

Sonja, a registered nurse who works for Dr. Charles Sullivan in Sequim, and her family, remains in Sequim.

The Frick store is expanding its medical equipment inventory to include scooters and lift chairs. The stock of healthcare supplies also will expand.

Michele Connell is still working in cosmetics and jewelry. She also makes custom jewelry for Frick's.

The store's photo service includes digital and film development service, and custom printing, said Kim Hughes, who manages the photo department at Frick.

The store's extensive candy stock also will remain, and it will still sell Hallmark greetings cards.

"We are the only independently-owned store of its kind in Sequim," Ella said.

The store moved from downtown Sequim a few doors west to the former Lady Truffle's building on West Washington street in 1969 to 1979, then set up a temporary location in Sequim Village Center, with three units at the site where Sandy's Kitchen Shop is located today.

"I had to paint the entire floor in the three units with porch paint because there was so much concrete dust," Ella recalled.

Frick Drugs has been at its existing location in the Village Center since 1980.

The business employs 19. Ella said the staff prides itself in personal customer service.

The store will have a customer appreciation day, serving coffee and cake from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 7.

"The thing that we want to impress is that we are here to stay at the same location," Ella said.

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Sequim-Dungeness Valley Editor Jeff Chew can be reached at 360-681-2391 or at jeff.chew@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: September 28. 2010 11:22PM
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