Seeber’s Pharmacy in the heart of Newport, Washington takes you back to a simpler life. Shelves lined with over-the-counter products, carpet worn with 50 years of customers being served by two generations of pharmacists and their kids growing up in the store. The breeze of strategically placed fans disperses the summer heat.
Harold “Chick” Seeber purchased the pharmacy in 1969 to combine his healthcare background with a desire to be his own boss. Family and business were one in the same in the following years for the Seebers. His son, Greg, began working in the store as a young child. Today he is Owner and Pharmacist in Charge.
“I was probably the only kid at 14 years old who had a key to the pharmacy,” said Greg.
Purchasing the family owned business in 1993 at the age of 25 was a natural step because Greg knew he wanted to continue his life in a small town and bring his education and career back to Newport. Taking over came with stability, challenges and opportunity. As the pharmacy has spanned generations of Seebers, the customers have spanned generations, with family and friends coming back year after year. Policies and regulations have changed, but the Seebers’ quality of service has not.
Greg said he was fortunate to have his father as a mentor.
“From the time I was five years old he told me I was going to WSU (Washington State University) and going to be a pharmacist,” Greg said.
With his father’s help he was able to learn a lot about the business.
“I’ve never really worked for anyone else besides myself or my family, so I don’t really know what it’s like to be in the corporate structure,” Greg said. “I look at the people that come in here more as friends so you have big community. We talk about how the fishing was or what’s going on.”
Today, Seeber’s employs 10 full-time and part-time employees, most of which have been there for more than a decade. After settling in the area through his military career several years ago, Mike Booth became a pharmacy technician at Seeber’s.
“I stayed because of the lifestyle, I like knowing what we have on the shelf for customers as they come in,” Booth said.
Seeber’s Pharmacy celebrates 25 years of BBB Accreditation in November, making sure their customers know they are upholding the eight Standards of Trust.
“It identifies you better as a business,” Greg said. “It puts you in a different standard and sets you at a different level.”
Greg values tradition, he also embraces the new challenges ahead. He sees change in the future of local pharmacies with a more interactive and ongoing relationship with patients.
“The national trend is to get patients and families more engaged in their own healthcare,” he said.
The Seeber’s have experienced many of the ups and downs of most small businesses, but along the way Chick continued to provide perspective until his passing in 2013. When things get stressful he would often say “It will all work out.”
You could say trust is in the Seeber genes.