Bob Scarbrough opened the doors to Abrams Royal Pharmacy on January 2, 1980. One of three daughters, Lark Swofford recalls, “Even though I was only 13 years old at the time, the memories of listening to mom and dad discuss the logistics of opening up a new pharmacy are forever burned into my memory. One of those discussions involved a possible move to Kilgore, Texas. A lovely little town, but this city girl is glad they settled on Dallas!”
The first week was lackluster, with only a couple of dozen prescriptions filled. “But each Rx was filled with absolute love for his patients and their well-being,” says Swofford. “As word got out about a new neighborhood pharmacy in Lake Highlands, people loved it and in turn, loved him. Those of you who have met our father will know that when I describe him as the most loving person with the sweetest voice and demeanor, you know I’m not just being the doting daughter. This fact is as true as a burnt orange Texas sunset.”
Over the years, business continued to grow. “Dad earned the reputation of being able to compound just about anything the doctors needed, and in the 80s and 90s, that’s saying something!” advises Swofford. “Procuring chemicals, bases and dispensing devices demanded a different set of skills back then. On Saturdays, my sisters and I would work with him during the day stocking the shelves, washing dishes, taking out the trash and filing paperwork. You know, the typical child labor you’re exposed to when you’re a part of a family business. Then, after we closed shop for the week, we’d head over to the restaurant supply store to brainstorm on how we could improve on certain aspects of compounding bulk creams, then we’d be off to Kodak to purchase chemicals like azelaic acid, just one of the myriad dermatologicals that dad compounded before the formulas were available on the mass prescription market.”
She shares, “I remember I saw dad looking through a health journal. Dad was sleuthing out ways for people to improve their health without pharmaceutical intervention. I was intrigued, but high school and college prevailed in my life, so I’d eavesdrop and learn by osmosis when I could. After pharmacy school, I started working full-time as a pharmacist, and quickly learned that I had lots more to learn; and who better to take me under his wing than my own father. We attended dozens, if not hundreds of lectures and seminars together, which gave us the tools by which we could really make a difference in our customers’ health. His learning never stopped. He’d strike up conversations with local healers, spiritual leaders and other natural-minded people and come home with loads of great information to share.”
The father’s profession became a family tradition. “A few more years passed and our youngest sister, Codi, graduated from pharmacy school and joined the team. Our middle sister, Greer, works in bookkeeping with our mother and also handles marketing and coordinating our ever-popular monthly seminar series. We’re all in, as they say! So here we are, celebrating our 40th year as a family-owned and operated business, a true rarity in today’s big-box world, for sure!”
As evidence, “When you walk into either of our stores, you’ll quickly realize that we’re not a normal pharmacy, meaning you won’t find school supplies, trinkets and junk food lining our shelves. What you will find, however, are professional-quality nutritional supplements, pharmacists that are available to answer your questions and windows that look into the lab where the compounding magic happens,” she points out.
“Whether you’ve been a customer for 40 years or have driven by but never walked in, we invite you to our 40 year celebration on January 22. More details will follow on our e-newsletters and Facebook page, so be sure to stay tuned!” exclaims Swofford. “ We can’t wait to celebrate with everyone and we’re looking forward to many more years of helping you get healthy and stay healthy naturally. We're not your typical pharmacy, and we're proud of it! Since 1980, the pharmacists at Abrams Royal Pharmacy have held the belief that when we give our bodies the nutrition it needs, there is a decreased need and reliance on pharmaceutical intervention, which results in an increase in vitality and health. Working as trusted partners with physicians and patients, our fellowship-trained pharmacists develop customized protocols that include nutrition, professional-quality supplementation and compounded medications to meet each patient’s unique needs.”
Abrams Royal Pharmacy is located at 8220 Abrams Rd., in Dallas. For more information call 214-349-8000 or visit arp-rx.com.