Fruth Pharmacy’s tagline is “Your Hometown, Family pharmacy.” While the retail chain has grown to become one of the larger privately held pharmacies in the country, with stores spanning Ohio and West Virginia, its focus on personal service sets it apart. The company, today guided by Lynne Fruth, daughter of founder Jack, has never forgotten its roots. No matter which of the 27 stores you visit, you’ll always find a touch of Mason County hospitality at the core.
Jack Fruth opened his first store on Jackson Avenue in Point Pleasant in 1952. Through the years, Fruth Pharmacy enjoyed steady growth and expansion. His home life enjoyed a similar bounty as Jack and wife Babs started a family.
“My parents just really understood the value of education and were probably a little visionary at the time,” said Lynne Fruth. “They had five children including me. No one ever said, ‘Are you going to college?’ It was ‘Where are you going to college?’”
The Fruths weren’t just concerned about their children’s education; they were also concerned about helping the community. Today Fruth Pharmacy sponsors a number of scholarships at Marshall both on the main campus in Huntington and Mid-Ohio Valley campus in Point Pleasant. Awards are made ranging from softball athletic scholarships to students interested in pursuing a career in pharmacy. Fruth also offers scholarships to other colleges and universities throughout the region.
“My dad understood that if you really want to change the face of a family and impact a community, you can do that through educating young people,” said Lynne Fruth.
Lynne says that the size and scope of Fruth gives the company a unique insight into what is needed in the marketplace. Many of the company’s executives have served in advisory capacities with area schools.
“There’s no substitute for hard work. Show up today and work hard and the same tomorrow,” said Fruth. “That said, you have to have been taught the skills to be successful. I think that part of why we maintain our relationships with the universities is to help guide them in being sure the graduate they produce has the abilities that the industry needs. Most pharmacy schools don’t teach management, but the reality is that you are going to be managing … and your success largely depends on your ability to lead.”
Fruth takes pride in the difference she has seen the scholarships make in Mason County. Many times, it also comes back to the company as graduates choose Fruth for employment after their formal education is complete.
“The kids who are going to be the best cultural fit for us are going to be the kids from this area,” said Fruth. “We have found that local students who are educated at local schools provide some of the best pharmacists for us.”