In the 2012 edition of the Idaho Mountain Express’ Best of the Valley awards, Valley Apothecary brought in silver medals for Best Customer Service, Best New Business and the coveted gold for Best Pharmacy—all in its first year on Washington Avenue in Ketchum.

    Now, eight years later, proprietors Cathy Swink and Paula Shaffer have held this distinction ever since.  

    Swink and Shaffer attribute this success to their impeccable wellness team of talented pharmacy technicians and pharmacists who staff the shop.

    “Our business model is customer-centric,” Shaffer says. “We are friendly, approachable and compassionate.”

    As an independent pharmacy owned and operated by local women, Valley Apothecary offers traditional pharmacy services such as filling commercial prescriptions, plus compounding options to craft specialized products tailored for each customer.

    The only pharmacy in Blaine County certified by the Professional Compounding Center of America, it holds the gold standard for compounding pharmacies. Through their in-house laboratory, Valley Apothecary’s certified staff is able to work with physicians to develop creative solutions for hormone replacement, pain management and dermatology. They even serve the valley’s four-legged residents, collaborating with community veterinarians to provide health-care products for local pets.

    “One pill does not fit all—every body is different,” Swink says. “If a doctor has a problem that a commercially available product can’t resolve, we can think outside the box to find a solution.”

    That approach extends to their over-the-counter inventory, too. Valley Apothecary stocks a wide range of lab-tested, medical-grade vitamins and supplements, as well as the drug-store basics such as first-aid supplies, skin-care products and a range of medicine for allergies, coughs and the common cold. If they don’t have what you need on hand, their staff is ready to research and special-order products, which often arrive the next business day.

    In an industry dominated by large corporations, the combination makes for something increasingly rare: a hometown pharmacy, old-fashioned, yet cutting edge.

    “We have the time to connect with customers one-on-one,” said Swink. “For us, customers are family, not just a number or a potential sale. Valley Apothecary is here for you.”

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