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Shafer’s Pharmacy plans move

After serving the community for more than 76 years from 11 Center St. in Tamaqua, Shafer’s Pharmacy will be relocating.

The family-owned business will move to the former Santander bank building at 408 E. Broad St. in Tamaqua.

The business closed on the property’s purchase Tuesday. More details will be announced in the near future, pharmacy officials said today.

In a Facebook post, Shafer’s noted, “We still have a few months to wait for remodeling to be completed and to be inspected by the state prior to opening but until then our current pharmacy will remain open as usual.

“We hope to see you in our new location soon.”

Shafer’s celebrated 75 years in business in 2021. Lee Shafer’s father, Edward, purchased the pharmacy in 1946.

Lee would eventually take it over, and now his son, Ben, handles most of the day-to-day operations of the pharmacy.

Ben and Lee Shafer were honored by the Tamaqua Chamber with the 2020 Business Person of the Year award. They were recognized in 2021 because the 2020 dinner was canceled due to the pandemic.

“People say how can you support small businesses? Leaving reviews, doing things like that are always great,” said Ben Shafer.

“Shopping local, and the big thing of course, right now too, is to help us to keep ourselves and our employees healthy - follow the rules, wear your mask and get your shot of course in times like this - to keep everyone healthy and to help us keep our doors open,” Ben said when he accepted the award.

The business was also honored in December by the Schuylkill County Commissioners for reaching its 75-year milestone.

“I can remember when we first started billing insurances for prescriptions. I was the first pharmacy in Schuylkill County to have a computer because I got tired of handwriting all of the forms,” Lee Shafer said at the time. “You bought a computer that was gigantic, but it wasn’t as powerful as your telephone right now and you backed it up on 8-inch floppy disks.”

Every Saturday afternoon, in the 1980s, Lee would print off forms at the pharmacy, which he said saved an “amazing” amount of time.

Santander closed the bank branch on Nov. 12 after almost 20 years of service. It plans to keep its ATM on site for customers.

The former Santander bank site at 408 E. Broad St. in Tamaqua will be the new home for the family-owned Shafer's Pharmacy. TIMES NEWS FILE PHOTO
Schuylkill County Commissioner Gary Hess presents a citation to Lee and Ben Shafer in December 2021 in honor of the 75th anniversary of the pharmacy. TIMES NEWS FILE PHOTO