Derek Chapman, owner of Chapman Drug Company, has kept his family-owned business alive for one reason: helping his community. With nearly 100 years in Hapeville, Chapman Drug Company has been a metro-Atlanta mainstay since the 1920s - and has continued to serve the community each day since.
Q: Can you tell us about your background and the history behind Chapman Drug Company?
DC: I took over my family’s pharmacy, Chapman Drug Company, 18 years ago. Before that, though, it was passed down from family member to family member, including my dad, after my grandfather opened the business in the ‘20s. Now, we’re just months away from Chapman Drug’s 100-year anniversary, and the pharmacy business continues to run deep in the Chapman family. My father, uncle and my wife are all pharmacists, as well.
Q: Why were you interested in continuing the family business and entering the healthcare field?
DC: I was raised in the area, of course, and saw my family working in the pharmacy when I was growing up. It was really cool to see my family’s business flourish in Hapeville, and I always wanted to pursue something that could contribute to the community the way my family had for years. It honestly was a perfect fit because I always loved science in school - biology, chemistry, you name it - and when it came time to take over the business, it was a no-brainer.
Q: Tell us more about Chapman Drug Company’s commitment to serving the community and what it means to you.
DC: I think Chapman Drug is really special to the Hapeville community because we truly rely on building relationships with our customers and want to provide a solid experience when they’re visiting us. We really know our customers - even by their voice over the phone - and that’s something you just don’t get anymore. Our goal has always been to meet folks where they are, so we’ve been delivering prescriptions since we opened in the ‘20s. Now, with the pandemic going on, we’re trying even harder to meet customers where they are and have switched to curbside pickup, if needed, to accommodate the times. Personalized service has always been important to us, and we want to make sure Chapman Drug is a one-stop shop for everything - flu shots, vaccines, prescriptions and more.
Q: How has Chapman Drug Company navigated through the pandemic?
DC: Well, like I said, delivery and curbside pickup have been huge. We’re considered an essential business, so we really haven’t stopped our efforts to help the community through all of this. Thankfully, we’ve been doing pretty well and have weathered the storm - but we’ve really been focusing on expanding our offerings and increasing the number of deliveries we’re able to do. It’s important that our customers feel comfortable and safe during this time.
Q: We noticed Chapman Drug Company is one of the only businesses with an original soda fountain. Can you tell us more about that?
DC: The soda fountain was built with the pharmacy in the 1920s and has been there the entire time we’ve operated in Hapeville. It is really neat, because most places do not have an original fountain anymore… and it really does draw a crowd! Neighboring businesses and travelers will come in just to check it out, and of course to grab a famous Chapman’s limeade. The soda fountain is currently closed because of the pandemic, but typically it’s quite the hit year-round. It’s really a unique thing, and it’s a nostalgic thing, too.
Q: How did you all come to partner with Jake’s Ice Cream? Can you tell us more about the Chapman’s Sour Lime and Cherry flavor?
DC: Cherry lime, and limeades in general, have always been our best-sellers. When Jake and I decided to partner up, we wanted something super unique to the store and landed on sours since it always seems to be a hit. The Chapman’s Sour Lime and Cherry flavor is really more like a sherbet because it’s tart, but the idea behind it is simply paying homage to what’s been happening at Chapman Drug for nearly a century.
Q: How do you hope to grow Chapman Drug Company in the future?
DC: Our goal has always been two-fold: providing the community with impeccable customer service, and always delivering a solid experience at Chapman Drug. We’re really hoping to expand our capabilities in the future to include additional vaccine offerings, as well as increasing our capacity for medication therapy management. We already offer both of these to an extent, but our goal is to offer one-on-one services to partner with customers’ doctors and create an overarching, comprehensive plan for each patient’s health.