Pitt Street Pharmacy has nostalgia for sweet success

John Gaddy (WCIV)

By Stacy

MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCIV) -- Nestled in the Old Village is one of the classic charms of Mount Pleasant: the Pitt Street Pharmacy. It's as classic as Coca-Cola.

Since 1937, The Pitt Street Pharmacy has been serving food and drinks. Today, the classic soda fountain fills patrons' thirst for nostalgia.

"I love it. It's America," customer Sarah Rougny said.

If you're not sure what a soda fountain is, just ask your parents or grandparents. Basically, you pick any cola and then mix in a syrup.

Kim Richardson bought the pharmacy from former owner Dr. Zeigler about 16 years ago. Mrs. Della Zeigler still works at the pharmacy, but the change in ownership came with a friendly threat from the community.

"A lot of them came to me and told me, 'Kim, you change anything about the soda fountain and we'll run you out of town,'" Richardson said.

But with so much tradition up front, you may not realize it continues as go to the back.

"When Dr. Zeigler started Pitt Street Pharmacy in 1937 he made his living with a mortar and pestle, making medications. Seventy-five years later, here I am doing exactly the same thing," Richardson said.

He was talking about compounding. Richardson operates a sort of craft pharmacy, where they take custom orders for certain forms, dosages, flavors and even pets.

Richardson gives such customized care behind both counters, he said.

"There's a business out there that treats them like they like to be treated. It speaks to them, calls them by name, gets to know them and treats them like family," he said.

And for regulars like Rougny, and her kids, who she said come in three times a week, the family treatment makes all the difference.

"It's neighborly. It's safe. We know everyone," Rougny said.

Richardson has found a sweet-yet-traditional formula for success.