Summit Express going strong in first year

Over-the-counter manager Debbie Coghlan and owner Tim Stamps are pictured with the pharmacy’s fudge.

In the first year since opening its doors, Summit Express Pharmacy is a thriving business.

Perched on a hill on Highway 51 on the southern part of town, the pharmacy and attached urgent care clinic have everything it takes to get well and a lot more.

The store will have sittings for pictures with Santa from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 14, and Saturday, Dec. 21.

Additionally, the pharmacy offers a free children’s vitamins program. All parents have to do is sign up and the pharmacy will provide vitamins for children ages 2-12.

Homemade fudge also is available, with a 1-pound box selling for $11.99 — including  a free quarter-pound square of fudge — and trays of the sweet stuff range from $20 to $36.

“We can deliver the trays in the Summit and McComb areas,” said Kimberly Wooley, who handles the store’s marketing.

Wooley said CBD oil — short for cannabidiol,  which is extracted from hemp — is gaining popularity among customers for its perceived medicinal values and is flying off the shelves.

The product is available as an oil or soft gel and many customers swear by it, Wooley said.

“If you talk to somebody that’s taking it, they’re getting off their pain medicines, they’re getting off their sleep medicines, their migraines, they’re getting off their anxiety medicines.” Wooley said.

It’s not all drugs and fudge, though. Tucked away in the corners of the store are a variety of mostly Mississippi-made gift selections, handbags, collegiate items, jewelry and other must-haves and impulse buys including candles by Heavenly Light, birdhouses, 10-foot-long phone cables and light-up dog leashes and collars.  

Over the counter manager Debbie Coghlan said popular holiday fare offered at the pharmacy includes Savvy Gourmand cheese balls and dips.

While tacky Christmas sweaters are popular this time of year, the pharmacy’s shoppers can be temperately festive in Christmas T-shirts.

“It’s Mississippi. You need some T-shirts,” Coghlan said, noting the state’s propensity for Christmastime weather to be more ideal for short sleeves than parkas.

“If people are in here to purchase their gifts I will be glad to wrap it professionally,” Coghlan said.

Other notable offerings at the pharmacy include a new shingles vaccine, Shingrix, which doesn’t sound festive, but neither is a bout with the shingles. It’s a two-step vaccination recommended for people who have had chicken pox and are over 50.

“It’s a lot more effective than the shingles vaccine that we used a few years ago,” Wooley said.

She noted that with Mississippi experiencing the highest rate of flu activity in the nation, now is a good time for people who haven’t had the flu shot to come in and get one.

“We’re still giving flu shots,” she said.

The store offers Express Pack pill packaging, which allows customers to receive all of their daily medications in plastic envelopes, which can improve patient adherence to doctor’s orders, prevent taking too much or too little medication and eliminate the need to keep up with multiple pill bottles.

 “Medical compliance is the number-one problem pharmacies face,” Wooley said, noting that an estimated 60% of patients  don’t take their medication as directed. Wooley said the store seems to be getting new customers each week in its first year of business, “and some of them don’t live in Summit. they live in McComb and Magnolia, and some customers come from Lincoln County.”

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