Graduate alum of the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Dr. Martez Prince, celebrated the opening of his own pharmacy, Premier Pharmacy and Wellness Center on Saturday, Oct. 3 in Charlotte, N.C.
Prince decided he wanted to become a pharmacist after working as a cashier at a pharmacy arena 14 years ago with FAMU alum, Dr. Mark Lee.
Graduating from Florida A&M University in 2010, the Fort Lauderdale native moved to Charlotte, N.C., and began working with Rite Aid Corp.
After seven months, he was promoted to a manager and remained in that position for more than four years.
“After being in this position, I decided that I wanted to step out and do independent pharmacy because that’s where I grew up at,” Prince said. “I felt like an independent pharmacy could better serve the community and a bigger impact without the corporate overhead.”
There were several requirements he had to go through upon opening the pharmacy.
“It required a lot of research, trying to find the trend of independent pharmacy, such as average earnings and the amount of money it would take to open a pharmacy. I contacted the local Better Business Bureau with items that I needed in order to be compliant with the state of North Carolina and the board of pharmacy. I created a business plan for what I wanted to do, my goals, services I wanted to offer and how I would make myself different from other pharmacies," he stated.
After obtaining monetary requirements to open the pharmacy, Prince created a board of directors to help navigate the pharmacy toward the correct path. He had to apply for various licenses and chose to go with a location of demographic to better serve the community with an effective impact.
“It usually takes a year but I was able to do everything within a six month period,” Prince said. “It took a lot of hours and before all of this, I used to travel a lot so I cut that. I began to focus on progressively saving and dedicated myself to tons of research.”
Diamond Nurse, a friend of Prince and a resident of Charlotte, N.C., expressed she and her husband love supporting local businesses.
“I was on the way to get some household items and I remembered that Premier Pharmacy has everything I need, so I decided to stop there and shop,” Nurse said. “Seeing pictures from the grand opening, I was excited to see that it’s more than a pharmacy. I was surprised by all the items and how neat everything was placed on the shelves, not to mention the prices were great!”
Premier Pharmacy and Wellness Center offers several services, such as appointment based pharmacy, diabetic training, educational seminars and much more free of charge to patients to guide them toward greater health. The pharmacy is 2,000 square feet vitamins, minerals, first-aid, eye care, diabetic section, health and beauty products, dollar section items, household items, snacks and drinks.
“The outpouring support has been amazing,” Prince said. “I’ve had people come in because they’ve seen the Facebook posts and got prescriptions on over-the-counter items. We’ve had more than $400 in sales of non prescription items in a single day which is huge for a first week. We weren’t planning to open until November but this week has already proven to be a great success.
Keonjala Williams, a third-year professional PharmD candidate, said to see the impact that FAMU is making in the realm of healthcare advancement is enthralling.
“It is very propelling to see this FAMU alumnus reach out to the citizens of the community providing a sense of sensitivity, education and healthful equality,” Williams stated. “The College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences provides students with supportive, professional, and knowledgeable skills that will aid them in their advancement in the healthcare community. “
“Being at FAMU taught me that community service was key,” said Prince. “My professors at FAMU taught me to never settle for what everyone else is doing and don’t be afraid to find something that works for you and to pursue it. My professors had an impact on my decision making to step out and do something different.”
Premier Pharmacy and Wellness Center is located at 3010 Monroe Rd. Suite 1101 Charlotte, N.C. 28205.