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 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. In 2016, Bill Holt bought out Holland’s portion of the store, leaving he and Doug Maund the two owners of Jones Drug.
Billy Holt married Natasha Owens in 2005. They have two daughters, Riley, 14, and Reagan, 11, who each attend Ardmore High School. They work together at the pharmacy.
However, 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. You also see a variety of Simply Southern T-shirts and Beehive Bathhouse products.
In addition to the Holts, Jones Drug has two other full-time pharmacists — Annie Randolph and Will Harris. They also have 10 other employees: Joan Shackleford, Pat Magnusson, Sharon Wales, Jerry Dollar, Haley Rublee, Sheila Dean, Nancy Darry, Mathew Morrell, Leigha Whitten and Terah King.
When asked how he got started in the pharmacy business and if it was difficult to be in this type of business in a small community, Billy Holt said he always knew he wanted to be in some type of medical field because he wanted to help people. Natasha Holt confirmed this, saying he is happiest when he is helping others. Billy Holt said he does have to deal with complaints during the day but hearing just one “thank you” means more, because it means knowing he made a difference for someone.
Natasha Holt said the business impacts the pharmacists daily because it can be very stressful. Sometimes they miss family events in order to help their customers.
The Holts want to be known for treating their customers like family and not like a number. As a pharmacy, they strive to answer all of their questions to the best of their abilities. They hope customers realize sometimes it takes a little extra time to get the best answer from the insurance company, the doctor, the pharmaceutical company and sometimes even the patient.
To provide the best service, each pharmacist or pharmacist technician must participate in classes and ongoing training throughout the year. A lot goes on at Jones Drug besides just “pill counting.” When a customer has questions about their medications, the pharmacy technicians or the pharmacist should be the best way to get the right 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.
— Eubanks is director of the Greater Ardmore Chamber of Commerce.