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Founder and President Lynn Morris
Founder and President Lynn Morris

Kings Winner: Family Pharmacy Inc.

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Ozark-based Family Pharmacy has come a long way since 1977, when owner and President Lynn Morris opened its first location in Ozark, selling just 12 prescriptions his first day in business.

In the years since, he has built the company on a growth strategy that focuses on filling a niche in small communities, though eventually, he did open locations in Springfield, where there are two Family Pharmacy stores, according to www.thefamilyrx.com.

“Certainly our plan was to be in small towns,” Morris says. “We felt that was our niche back in the 1970s, and that proved to be a good plan.”

Today, Family Pharmacy has grown to 29 locations, including its retail stores, three closed-door long-term care pharmacies, a photo center and portrait studio, a full-line home-medical supply store and a frozen custard shop.

In addition to Ozark and Springfield, Family Pharmacy operates retail stores in Strafford, Nixa, Sparta, Hollister, Republic, Forsyth, Marshfield, Willard, Branson West, Fair Grove, Joplin, Bolivar, Ava, Clever and Rogersville. Most locations are full-line pharmacies with drive-through service and other features, Morris says.

“We go into towns of 2,000 or less and provide a full-scale pharmacy with many benefits that really help a small-town community.”

As the company celebrates its 35th year in business, it is continuing to grow. A Branson location is slated to open before Labor Day, and the Clever store, which is in a temporary location, will open in a new location this summer, Morris says.

Family Pharmacy ranks No. 1 on Springfield Business Journal’s 2010 list of the area’s largest locally owned pharmacies. With a work force that has nearly doubled in the past six years, Morris and 320 employees now fill 7,500 prescriptions a day. In 1977, the company posted gross sales of $170,000.

In 2010, Family Pharmacy’s gross sales were $75 million, and the company is on target to hit a goal of $100 million this year, Morris says, placing the company in the Top 60 nationally, according to the National Association of Chain Drug Stores.

In an effort to help customers save money, Family Pharmacy’s free True Care Elite program gives participants access to common generic drugs for $3.99 for a 30-day supply, as well as discounts on name-brand drugs, and other benefits such as free delivery and discounts on other pharmacy products and services.

The program now has more than 30,000 members.

Family Pharmacy’s contributions to the communities it serves stretch beyond store sales, Morris says.

In 2004, the company launched its Helping Hand Fund, an employee-funded initiative through which Family Pharmacy employees can nominate themselves or others facing hard times for financial assistance.

Family Pharmacy also looks for ways to help others outside the company.  

“We’ve become actively involved – our employees at our corporate office – in the school systems and with senior citizens’ centers and churches,” he says. “(We) become fully integrated in the life of that community.”

A free summer concert series at Cruisin’ USA in 2010 raised more than $100,000 for local charities including Children’s Miracle Network, Boy Scouts, American Cancer Society and American Diabetes Association. The company also sponsors community events and supports Little League teams and fundraisers.

“I think that’s extremely important for any community, but especially for communities in southwest Missouri,” Morris says.

From the 2011 Economic Impact Awards publication
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