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Tuesday, November 26,2013

New In Town

Central Pharmacy/ Chierie International Market

by Allan I. Ross
Central Pharmacy/ Chierie International Market

Because of a reporting error, the "New in Town" column on Nov. 20 misstated Rite-Aide's role in the old Lansing Community Pharmacy at Kalamazoo Street and Pennsylvania Avenue. Rite-Aide acquired Lansing Community Pharmacy's prescriptions. The store, however, is closed. Its phone number is being forward to Rite-Aide at Michigan Avenue and Pennsylvania.

In the age of mega-chain drugstores, it’s unusual to hear about a locally owned pharmacy opening.

Apothecary Pharmacy in Lansing and PGPA intown Pharmacy in Okemos are two local stores that have kept up with the giants, but they’ve been around much longer — 87 years and 16 years, respectively.

Now Mike Salquist has joined the list. Earlier this month, he opened Central Pharmacy on the corner of Mt. Hope and Pennsylvania avenues. Salquist has been a registered pharmacist for 37 years. Most recently, he spent eight years at the nearby Lansing Community Pharmacy, which closed without notice to customers two weeks ago.

“It was a family owned place, but (the owners) decided to sell and not tell us,” Salquist said. “I worked hard to get to know the clients. We developed a real

bond. When this opportunity came (to open Central Pharmacy) right down the street, I took it.”

Salquist said Central Pharmacy compounds medication and fills prescriptions for both humans and animals. It also offers free delivery.

Dr. Joe Kozlowski’s office, Kosmic Family Practice, is adjacent to the 1,200-squarefoot store. The building, empty since Grumpy’s Diner moved out of the location in 2011, recently underwent a major exterior and interior overhaul. It was featured as a City Pulse Eyesore of the Week in September, but a lot has changed since then.

“I think this building’s actually become eye candy,” Salquist said. “Can we get that changed?”

Going international Sam Dixon and Sue Bunch opened Chierie International Market in Old Town on Nov. 2. Dixon said he hopes to fill a niche for specialty imported food.

“There are roughly 18,000 African refugees in Lansing,

and we’re trying to (connect them) with the foodstuffs they like,” Dixon said.

Many of the items are shipped directly from Africa, but he also gets items from various distributors throughout the Midwest. One item that’s in: Vitamalt, a gingery non-alcoholic malt beverage that’s hard to find in the area.

The location is the former home of Haze Gallery, a ceramic art gallery that became Great Lakes Artworks art co-op and moved next door in 2011.

Central Pharmacy 1003 E. Mt. Hope Ave., Lansing 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday; 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday; closed Sunday (517) 316-0711

Chierie International Market 304 E. Grand River Ave., Lansing 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Tuesday- Thursday; 10-9 Friday- Saturday, 1-8 Sunday, closed Monday (517) 484-9787

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