Long-time Covington pharmacist moves business to CVS

Chip McClanahan operated a pharmacy on Pace St. in Covington for 25 years and has now sold the business to CVS Pharmacy, where he works full-time.

Chip McClanahan operated a pharmacy on Pace St. in Covington for 25 years and has now sold the business to CVS Pharmacy, where he works full-time.

The phone is ringing off the hook at the CVS pharmacy in Covington and part of the reason for the high volume of calls is pharmacist Chip McClanahan. In June, McClanahan sold his 25-year-old Covington pharmacy business to the CVS, located at 4138 U.S. Highway 278. Along with that business deal came hundreds of longtime customers.

McClanahan now works full time as a pharmacist at the CVS location.

"We look forward to still continuing to serve our customers and friends and the community at this new location," said McClanahan, who also works alongside fellow pharmacist Randy Eakins, an employee of McClanahan's former business.

A native of the Fayetteville area, McClanahan earned his degree in pharmacy from the University of Georgia in 1974 and practiced in Decatur and Peachtree City before settling in Covington in 1987.

"We looked around the state and this area seemed to be the friendliest and the most likely to make a success," said McClanahan.

He opened a Medicine Shoppe franchise at 2155 Pace St. and slowly built a thriving business, he said.

"We were blessed with customers. We came into the town. We were not familiar and didn't know anybody. It was just by customer service and getting to meet the people in the area and trying to provide services like delivery, charge accounts and comparative pricing that we were able to grow," said McClanahan.

McClanahan, who raised his children in Conyers but now lives in Covington, said with his family grown it was time to make a change from operating his own business, which changed to Chip's Healthmart five years ago, to working for someone else.

Since CVS wanted to expand its customer base, the agreement between himself and CVS worked well, he said.

"With the challenges in the healthcare industry in the past two years and in the future, we just made a determination that it was our opportunity to continue our careers but in a different venue," said McClanahan.

"I'm thankful that CVS is giving me an opportunity to stay in the community and provide patients with services they've always known."

McClanahan said the 24-hour CVS pharmacy currently employs six pharmacists, plus assistants, and plans to hire even more.

"It was already a thriving business to begin with because of the location and the name brand. To put our customer base along with it, it just has made the business extremely busy," said McClanahan, who plans to work at CVS until his retirement.

McClanahan said his favorite part of the job is building personal relationships with customers and being able to tend to each individual's well-being.

"I want to thank my customers for everything they've done and for their support for the past 25 years," he said.