The Medicine Shoppe is under new ownership, but customers shouldn't expect to see any differences.
Jim Rosenthall purchased a Medicine Shoppe franchise in 1978 and opened the store at 2428 Union Ave. in Altoona, moving it in 1993 to 2411 Eighth Ave. Rosenthall recently sold the franchise to local pharmacist Bill Earnest.
Earnest had contacted Rosenthall around Easter to see if he would be interested in selling.
"He came to me and wanted to see if we could work out a deal. The business will be in good hands," Rosenthall said. "I am 76 years old. It is time to retire."
However, Rosenthall will continue to work one or two days a week.
"I will keep working until I can't stand any more. It is getting tough," Rosenthall said.
Earnest, who took over the franchise Nov. 15, isn't planning any significant changes.
"We will maintain the status quo and make changes as our customers dictate to fulfill their wants and desires. All of the employees are staying on," Earnest said, adding he is excited about the opportunity.
He said he hadn't been working prior to buying the business, and this gave him the opportunity to meet and talk with people and try to help them out.
"I hope to bring in some new customers from the surrounding neighborhood and take care of the folks who have been coming in," he said.
Rosenthall said The Medicine Shoppe has been different than the typical drug store.
"We basically just fill prescriptions. Over 90 percent of our business is prescriptions. We don't sell many other things. When we started, that was the idea," Rosenthall said.
"It was like an old apothecary shop," said his wife, Audrey, who worked alongside her husband for 30 years as a pharmacy technician.
Jim Rosenthall started thinking about selling the franchise following the Jan. 4 death of his son, Harry, who had worked in the shop for 22 years.
"It was hard for him with Harry not being here. He was a pharmacy technician and he took care of our computer problems," Audrey Rosenthall said. "Jim had talked about maybe Harry would buy it. He was ready to retire. The time was right."
Earnest said his wife, Vickie, will work with him as a clerk at the shop.