Pharmacist celebrates 40 years

Published 12:02 am Thursday, December 1, 2011

Pharmacist Bobby Scott stands inside Mallette Drug Co. | Stephanie Nelson/Star-News


For 40 years, Bobby Scott has been behind the counter at Mallette Drug Co.

And while, he may have cut back a bit on his hours, he has no plans to abandon his post as pharmacist to the residents of Covington County any time soon.

A graduate of Troy University and later Auburn University’s School of Pharmacy, Scott came to the profession after his brother-in-law graduated with a degree in pharmacy.

“I was born and raised in Barbour County, way out in the country,” Scott said. “I graduated from a small rural school. I worked in the fields growing up, and my father was a mechanic.

“I knew I wanted something different for my life,” he said. “My daddy knew a man who owned a pharmacy in Eufaula. After my first year of college, I worked for him for the summer, and I got real interested, so I made up my mind – I was going to be a pharmacist.”

And he did it, even coming back to Eufaula to work for the man who’d given him his first glimpse of the profession.

“I worked for him for five years, but I’d always wanted to own my own business,” Scott said. “One day, a drug rep, who I’d become friends with, told me about a pharmacy for sale in Andalusia.

“I told him, ‘I don’t even know where Andalusia is,’” he said. “He told me, ‘Go take a look.’ So my wife, Judy, and I did. It was one of the best decisions we ever made.”

Scott and the then-owner of Mallette Drug, Aubrey Mallette, “hit it off,” and the rest is pharmaceutical history – or at least in Andalusia.

“Mr. Mallette’d been here 50 years or more, and he wanted to sell to someone who wasn’t going to sell out to a chain, he wanted someone to keep it,” he said. “And we did.”

The building’s current location in front of Andalusia Regional Hospital is the business’ third physical location, moving from the intersection of Pear Street and South Cotton Street and then the Court Square. In the 1970s, business was so good on Saturdays that the doors to Mallette Drug Co. didn’t close until sometimes 10 p.m.

“It was like a rock show, all the people everywhere,” he said. “We had all the mills going. People were thick in Andalusia, but over the years that’s changed.”

However, the service found at Mallette Drug Co. has not, he said.

“We’re still the same family-oriented business we’ve always been,” he said. “In fact, six or seven years ago when the hurricane hit, this building was destroyed. Our daughter, Tavia Fischer, she’s a pharmacist. She was working in Auburn, but came home to help us rebuild and never left.

“For us, our customers are like our family,” he said. “I know about their family and I’m concerned about their health, not about selling them medicine.

“That’s why I’m not ready to retire yet. I plan one day to turn the business over to Tavia, who said I’d always have a job here, but I like feeling useful,” he said.

“I’m not ready to go and be retired just yet,” he said.

On Wednesday, family, friends and staff marked Scott’s four-decade anniversary with a small reception.