RX for retirement: Medicap Pharmacy closed Wednesday

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Veteran pharmacist Michael Warren has taken the time to get to know his customers who rely on medication, but after 42 years, he has closed up shop.

“I’ve been working a lot of hours. For the last 26 years, I’ve worked pretty much every Saturday, and when you go home, there is more paperwork to do and insurance to process,” said Warren, who operated Medicap Pharmacy at 1000 Tarboro St. “It is pretty much 24/7, which isn’t too bad when you’re younger, but when you get older, it is hard to keep caught up.”

After working at Wilson Memorial Hospital, Bissette Drug and Eckerd Pharmacy, Warren became a Medicap Pharmacy franchisee with roughly 800 square feet at the corner of Tarboro Street and Forrest Road.

“When I did my pharmacy internship, I worked for an independent pharmacy, and I liked that,” the 65-year-old pharmacist said. “I thought I’d always like to run my own independent pharmacy when I was able to, but it took a few years to get the experience and save the money.”

He built a loyal customer base, employing two full-time staff members along with others, including Beverly Shackleford, who has been the store’s delivery driver for the last seven years.

“We’re all just heartbroken,” Shackleford said. “It just breaks my heart.”

She said letting customers know has resulted in many hugs and tears. Work has been going on behind the scenes for a while now as Warren arranged for CVS on Forest Hills Road to buy the store’s inventory and customer records.

“It seems like every day there is a list this long of things that need to be done,” he said. “There are legal forms and notices to the board and the DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency). It is not an easy, overnight thing.

“Retiring from a job for most people means when they decide it is best for them to retire, they give two weeks notice, maybe have a going away party and are out the door, but when you own a business and have employees, it is a different animal,” he said.

CVS is working to find positions for Medicap’s staff and promised Warren to treat the shop’s customers well.

“I would just like to say thank you so much to our customers for being loyal,” he said. “They have been my reason for coming to work every day, and I hope they will entrust their care to CVS.”

Warren said he looks forward to spending more time with his wife of nearly 44 years, their two sons and six grandchildren. He also wants to spend time traveling — including possibly to Asia where his youngest son teaches English — and focusing on projects around his home.

“I’ve really enjoyed being somewhat in control of my own fate with this business,” Warren concluded. “It has been wonderful to get to know everyone. Unfortunately, I’ve seen a lot pass away, but I also have some that were babies when we opened up, and they have kept coming through the years.”