Grand Re-Opening of Eastport Family Pharmacy

 

By Amy Jeanroy

 

It is a long way between Nanka, Nigeria, and Eastport, Maine-5,142 miles to be exact. That's how far Ben Okafor traveled to open the Eastport Family Pharmacy on Water Street in Eastport. Two years later, Ben needed to expand his growing business, and moved the pharmacy Boynton Street in what used to be Eastport's local laundromat. This new location was important says Ben, not only because it was larger,  but because it would also have a drive thru window. 

"Customers don't have to even get out of their cars during bad weather to get their prescriptions." 

The location is also conveniently located next door to Eastport Health Care, making it easier to clients to leave their doctor and pick up their prescriptions.

Perhaps the most unique thing the pharmacy offers is free delivery within 50 miles of their location. In its second year, this service is a telling example of how Okafor understands the demographics of the area. “We deliver as far as Lubec, so people who can't or shouldn't drive in the snow, can still keep up with their medications.”  

Okafor lived in Bangor, and worked for Rite Aid for 7 years, and part of that time was working in both the Calais and Machias stores, which is how he came to know the Downeast area. 

When asked what made him consider Eastport to open his own pharmacy, he said that although he enjoyed working for Rite Aid, with the big chain stores, it makes it hard to interact with the customers. We would have to help the customer and get to the next one quickly, there was not much time to talk with them. 

“Here, I know all my customers by name.”

The tight knit community of Eastport  welcomed the Okafors and the new business. "This place is so peaceful, and the people are so nice,” he said, when asked what it was like to be the new family in town.

 “We are really lucky to be here.”