Ardmore Drugs opened in 1918 by Lude Currin and Dr. Bernard Harcher Woodard and has only changed ownership four times in its history, operating continually in the same building that stands on Ardmore Avenue. Dr. Thoran Jones bought Ardmore Drugs in 1925 with his wife Merle Jones and changed the name to Jones Drug and a full-service pharmacy. In 1967 he relinquished control of the store to Doug Maund and in 1968 Nick Holland, an Auburn University pharmacy school graduate joined Maund as a partner.
Billy Holt, an Ardmore, Tennessee, native and an Ole Miss pharmacy graduate took an internship position with Jones Drug in 1996. Billy later took a full-time position at Jones drug and bought in a portion of the store and in 2016, Bill Holt bought out Holland’s portion of the store, leaving him and Doug Maund the two owners of Jones Drug.
Billy married Natasha Owens Holt in 2005. They have two daughters, Riley (14 years old) and Reagan (11 years old), who both attend Ardmore High School. Natasha works as a Pharmacy Technician at Jones Drug with Billy.
Jones Drug is not just a pharmacy. When you walk in Jones Drug you see a variety of merchandise. They carry handmade custom pens and cutting boards that can be personalized. These are made by a local wood craftsman and I must say they are beautiful! You also see a variety of Simply Southern T-shirts and Beehive Bathhouse Products.
In addition to Billy Holt, Pharmacist, and Natasha Holt, Pharmacist Technician, Jones Drug has two other full-time Pharmacist, Annie Randolph, and Will Harris. They also have ten other employees: Joan Shackleford, Pat Magnusson, Sharon Wales, Jerry Dollar, Haley Rublee, Sheila Dean, Nancy Darry, Mathew Morrell, Leigha Whitten, and Terah King.
When I asked Billy Holt how he got started in the pharmacy business and was it difficult to be in this type of business in a small community, he said he always knew he wanted to be in some type of medical field because he wanted to help people. His wife, Natasha, confirmed this because she said he is happiest when he is helping others. Billy said that while he does have to deal with complaints during the day but hearing just one “Thank You” means more than you know and knowing that he made a difference and helped someone means more than someone realizes.
I asked how the business impacts their lives on a day to day basis? Natasha said that it impacts all the Pharmacists daily because it can be very stressful. Sometimes they miss family events in order to help their customers.
When I asked them what they want their business to be remembered for or best known for they want to be known for treating their customers like family and not like a number. As a pharmacy, they hope their customers realize they are patients and they hope they show patience with them as they assist them with their questions and strive to answer all of their questions to the best of their abilities and realize that sometimes it takes a little extra time to get the best answer from the insurance company, the doctor, the pharmaceutical company, and even the patient.
I found out that each of the Pharmacist and Pharmacist technicians must participate in classes and ongoing training throughout the year. I was aware that the Pharmacist had to do this, but I did not realize that the technicians had to do this as well. A lot goes on at Jones Drug besides just “pill counting” and when you have questions about your medications, remember that you need to be asking the pharmacy technicians or the pharmacist in order to get the correct answers.
When I think back on my time in Ardmore as a child, I can’t remember Ardmore without Jones Drug. Billy and Natasha Holt and their entire staff support the community and have done an outstanding job of keeping a legacy alive in our city and town. I hope you all will continue to support our local businesses like Jones Drug here in Ardmore.