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Full service pharmacy to open in Ithaca this week

After years of anticipation and waiting, Downtown Ithaca now has a full service pharmacy. Palmer Pharmacy opened its doors this week at 131 E. Green St. in the new Cayuga Place building. The store is adjacent to Urban Outfitters, TCAT/Gimme Coffee and the Tompkins County Public Library. The pharmacy is owned and operated by local entrepreneur Darren Palmer and will serve as downtown’s sole source for prescription drugs and pharmacy items.Attracting a pharmacy to downtown has been at the top of the priority wish list for both the City of Ithaca and the Downtown Ithaca Alliance. “The City of Ithaca and the Downtown Ithaca Alliance have worked together to attract a pharmacy to our downtown for the last several years”, said Phyllisa DeSarno, Deputy Director for Economic Development and a key player in the recruitment effort. “With our growing downtown housing and office sectors, the comforts of having the services of a pharmacy within our core business district are crucial”.Palmers fills an unmet need in Downtown that has existed since the departure of CVS many years ago”, notes Gary Ferguson, Executive Director of the Downtown Ithaca Alliance. Ferguson adds, “not only did we attract a pharmacy, we now have the only independent pharmacy left in Tompkins County.” After building the first Palmer Pharmacy location in Trumansburg from scratch, Darren Palmer, owner, chose to open a second location in Downtown Ithaca. “We have a great rapport and support in Trumansburg and are hoping for the same in Ithaca,” said Palmer. He is hopeful that the intimate, local experience that a small independent business affords will appeal to Ithacans. “I look forward to getting to know everyone on a first name basis”, said Palmer, “I want it to be like Cheers.”His pharmacy is unique in that it is family owned and operated and they have an old fashioned soda fountain, serving such treats as hand mixed sodas, cream sodas, floats and sundaes. Their ice cream is supplied by yet another local, family owned business, Interlaken based Cayuga Lake Creamery. Other services include free delivery, a commitment to speedy prescription fills, and price matching with other pharmacies in the region. Palmer is focused on winning customers with personal customer service, adding that if you don’t see something that you need, he will order it for you and have it available the next day. In a time when small pharmacies are being bought up by corporations at an exceedingly fast rate, it is gratifying to see this particular pharmacy survive and expand with such enthusiasm–a sight for sore eyes in Downtown Ithaca. A ribbon cutting will be held February 5th at 12:30 pm and a grand opening celebration is planned for later in the season.

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