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Fruth Pharmacy celebrates opening of store in Ironton

Dec. 01, 2012 @ 12:00 AM

IRONTON -- Ironton has a hometown feel, and the new Fruth Pharmacy that opened in the city last month fits right in, said Bill Dingus, executive director of the Greater Lawrence County Area Chamber of Commerce.

Local agencies like the Lawrence Economic Development Corporation and the Ironton-Lawrence County Area Community Action Organization helped bring the $1.5 million pharmacy to Ironton, said Lynn Fruth, president and chairman of the board of the regional pharmacy chain which operates 26 pharmacies in Ohio and West Virginia.

"We are thrilled to be in Ironton," Fruth said during grand opening ceremonies Friday morning in Ironton. "Putting the deal together has been a real pleasure."

Dingus agreed and said he was "already pushing for another store in Lawrence County."

Jeremy Clay, director at The Point, a South Point industrial park, oversaw construction of the pharmacy on Ohio 141 across the street from the St. Mary's medical complex in Ironton.

"I think it's a great addition to the city of Ironton and to this area," said Ironton Mayor Rich Blankenship. "They're a quality company and provide quality jobs. The company has been around for quite some time. I remember going to the Fruth Pharmacy in Proctorville when I was much younger. We want to welcome them with open arms to the city of Ironton."

The pharmacy has 20 employees, but that number will grow to at least 25, Fruth said. "For the most part, we like to hire people full-time and offer a job with benefits."

The new pharmacy has been in business only several weeks but is already is in the top five or six in sales, Fruth said. The company is based in Point Pleasant, W.Va.

"We want to be part of the community," Fruth said. "We have started a scholarship at Ohio University Southern." The scholarship will be offered to a Lawrence County high school student to allow them to attend the campus in Ironton.

"I think it's a wonderful investment in the local community," said Bill Willan, OUS dean. "Education is the best way to change one's life. The Fruth family recognizes that. They're investing in a local student. Making higher education possible for a student who might not be able to afford it is truly transformative."