A Local Pharmacy with a Big Heart

Behind the Scenes at Tarrytown Pharmacy
Alyssa Doebler on November 3, 2014 - 9:45 am in Small Business Feature

Tarrytown-Pharmacy

Every business has a unique story. Tarrytown Pharmacy of Austin, TX is no exception. More than just a pharmacy, Tarrytown plays a huge role in the Austin community. I had the opportunity of interviewing Mark Newberry, the current owner. His passion for Tarrytown, its customers, and community were inspiring. Tarrytown has always been a part of Mark’s life, and it’s evident how much he loves it. Hopefully his story inspires and encourages you in your own business ventures.

tarrytown pharmacy 1941

Guy Kelly opened Tarrytown Pharmacy in Austin, TX on December 6, 1941. Not long after this, he sold the store to Gatewood Newberry. Tarrytown has been in the Newberry family ever since and is now in its third generation of Newberrys. Mark and his wife, Leslie, (pictured below) are the current owners.

mark tarrytown pharmacyleslie tarrytown pharmacy

Mark and his siblings began working at Tarrytown when they were young. Their job was to dust shelves, break down boxes, and take out the trash. Mark kept his very first time card, and it is framed and hanging in his office. It’s from August 24, 1984. He worked for 7 hours and was paid $1.78. The time card is a reminder of where he came from. He doesn’t take Tarrytown Pharmacy for granted and feels lucky to be able to serve his friends and work with the people he does.

Business Advice

I asked Mark if he’s received any specific advice or tips that have helped his business to be successful. His response was simple yet profound, “My dad always told me to decide on a career by doing something you love.  The rest will follow.  If you don’t love it you won’t be good at it.  I love my job.  I love coming to work every day.  I love my customers and I love my coworkers.”

He also said his willingness to try new business ventures has helped him to be successful. There have been some ventures that didn’t work, but there have been more that have. It’s important to not gamble, but there does have to be calculated risk involved if you want to grow your business long-term. He’s had amazing support from his wife and coworkers over the years as well. All of these factors have helped him grow the business to a place where his grandfather and dad would be proud.

Marketing for a Pharmacy

Since pharmacies are so prevalent, it’s difficult to market for them. Because of this, Tarrytown focuses on a very targeted, relatively small geographic area. Their focus is on the immediate neighborhood and specific outlying neighborhoods. They do some direct mail marketing because it is very targeted and specific. Social media is also an important marketing tool for Tarrytown.

child tarrytown pharmacy

Mark & Leslie’s daughter

Community Involvement 

Tarrytown’s involvement and commitment to the community is incredible. They donate auction items and money to local schools and charities and have given well over one million dollars in the last 70 years! Recently they donated a $10,000 digital sign to Casis Elementary and a $25,000 donation to Casis School for an outdoor science and learning center. These ventures not only help the community but also align well with Tarrytown’s purpose and mission. Kids are able to learn science at this learning center, and that’s what Tarrytown Pharmacy is all about.

Mark’s favorite part of his job are the customers. He and his dad used to say how lucky they were that they were able to help their friends stay healthy. The Newberry family has lived in the Tarrytown neighborhood for over 70 years, so their customers are friends not only at the store but also at school, church, sporting events, etc. It’s really all about the community. Every day Mark gets to help and socialize with friends and family.

The history of Tarrytown Pharmacy is one of passion, endurance, and community. If you are a current business owner or hoping to one day own a business, I’d encourage you to take a look at how your business fits into the community. How can you be the business in your community that contributes, brings added value, and creates a feeling of togetherness?

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