THROOP -- Independent family pharmacies are becoming a rare breed, and one that's been open in Lackawanna County for 66 years will shut its doors for good this weekend.
Before he was behind the pharmacy counter, Paul Butash delivered the drugs door to door. He was 12 when he started working for his dad.
“There’s an old saying, ‘Father Time is undefeated,’ so it’s just time. It’s just time. We appreciate all the great people who came here throughout the many years,” said Butash.
After 66 years, Butash Pharmacy in Throop will close for good on Saturday. Butash was bought out by a nearby Price Chopper Pharmacy. He will work there part time.
Butash closing up shop leaves Throop without its own pharmacy and without its own post office.
Butash says the US Postal Service offered the pharmacy the local post office for a fee of $25 a month back in the 1950s. It's helped make Throop residents loyal pharmacy customers all those years.
“The fact of the matter is it’s a little difficult for the small guy to make it in today’s world, and I long for the days when small-town America had all these little stores, but I’m afraid those days are over,” Butash said.
Over, too, are the days of long lines here, as customers have taken their business to big box stores or mail order prescription services.
“I’m going to have to go elsewhere. They said they’re moving to Price Chopper, so that won’t be too much of an inconvenience. It’s just the hometown feel, you know? The personalization, the customer service,” said Terry Calabro of Jessup.
Butash says the feeling is mutual.
“Throop is such a wonderful town, and the people are great. And so this is sort of the place where we come and we hear their confessions, so to speak, and what’s going on in town. That’s what I’ll miss the most, the people.”