The end of an era.
After almost 136 years Smithville’s oldest business, F.Z. Webb & Sons Pharmacy, will soon be leaving the public square and moving to the former location of the Family Dollar and more recently the Big Bounce on South Congress Boulevard.
“We’re not going out of business. We’re moving and expanding,” Alan Webb told WJLE Tuesday.
Webb, owner of the pharmacy, said that his son-in-law Justin Hooper, who is also a pharmacist, will be joining him in the business.
“My new son-in-law, Justin Hooper is buying into the store and we will be partners. The pharmacy will be owned by me and my wife Lora along with Justin and his wife and our daughter Martha. That will bring along a fifth generation of ownership to Webb’s Drug Store,” said Alan.
While he hates to leave downtown, Webb said having the pharmacy on South Congress Boulevard will make it more visible and hopefully draw more business. “ We decided to move out on the highway where there is more traffic. Since the courthouse moved so many of their offices to the county complex there has not been as much activity downtown in recent years,” he said.
The new pharmacy is expected to offer more services and conveniences including a soda fountain, something F.Z. Webb & Sons Pharmacy was once known for at the present location until it was discontinued several years ago. “We’re going to be remodeling the building and we’re planning to put the old soda fountain back in. We’ll have a drive-through window and consultation rooms and there will be plenty of parking. We don’t yet know what all we are going to offer but it will be good for DeKalb County and the surrounding areas. We expect business to grow there because there will be more space for growth,”said Webb.
Although a target date has not yet been set for the move, Webb said it will be sometime within the next few months. “I don’t know when or how long it will take to get the building remodeled but we plan to move sometime this year,” he said.
F.Z. Webb & Sons Pharmacy was founded in 1881 and now has locations in Alexandria and McMinnville in addition to Smithville. “We appreciate all our loyal customers and the families we have served for generations and hope you will continue to patronize us. We also hope to make new friends and customers. As in the past we will continue to operate as a locally owned independent pharmacy,” added Webb.
F.Z. Webb & Sons Gifts, operated by Webb’s sister Annette Greek, will remain in operation downtown on the public square.
The end of an era.