Tarpey’s Pharmacy in Sauganash to celebrate 50 years in May
by BRENDAN HENEGHAN
Longtime Sauganash business Tarpey’s Pharmacy, 5933 N. Cicero Ave., will celebrate its 50th anniversary in May.
Robert Tarpey bought the pharmacy on May 7, 1973, and has operated the business until his passing in March of 1987, leaving the torch to his wife Carole, according to son and current owner, Patrick Tarpey, who took over in 2007. After 50 years, the family-owned business has retained its local clientele that encompasses people of all ages.
“All across the board many families come back for generations. Kids grow up coming here, and move back to the neighborhood. It’s fun to work here and see all the people,” said Patrick Tarpey.
Prior to 2009, the pharmacy was located across the street at 4752-54 W. Peterson Ave until it moved to a 1,600-square-foot corner storefront in the Edens View Office Plaza.
Tarpey said his plan to celebrate the pharmacy’s 50th anniversary is to “keep on going and do what we’re doing.” As long as the neighborhood continues its support, he expects another 50 years of vibrant business, serving residents in Sauganash and Edgebrook, as well as people who live elsewhere but work in the area.
In 2020 in the middle of the pandemic, Tarpey’s Pharmacy remained open as an essential business. Although COVID-19 ushered in a series of unexpected setbacks, customers never stopped trickling in, Tarpey said.
“The main thing was people weren’t coming in as much. Although we were allowed to remain open, it did hurt business,” Tarpey said.
According to Tarpey, business is getting better all the time. Withstanding the pandemic, the neighborhood hasn’t changed very much. Parents visit and pick up prescriptions with their kids, or stop by for lottery tickets or candy, among other simple items.
“We focus on personalized service. I know most customers by name, and we give quicker service than the larger chains,” Tarpey said.
Many residents have said over the years that they enjoy “shopping local” and prefer the family-owned business compared to the larger chains like Walgreens and CVS.