Because it was such an important part of our past, we love to share the story of the Wittenauer's Pharmacy and Gift Shop! Enjoy browsing through this timeline of events and remember to tell us your stories of the pharmacy and gift shop when you visit the café!
The Wittenauer's tradition began in 1956 when Norman and Lou Ann acquired McPhee's Pharmacy and renamed it Wittenauer Drug.
Two years after opening, Norman and Lou Ann took the opportunity to expand their vision by rebuilding Wittenauer Drug. A traditional soda fountain was incorporated into the new store, giving the community a place to enjoy cold drinks and snacks.
In early 1960, the Wittenauers opened a second pharmacy on the corner of 6th and Midlothian. The couple offered an innovative way for customers to pick up their prescriptions with the introduction of a drive-through window.
Passion drove the Wittenauers to search for a new community to serve, after closing the Struthers pharmacy on 6th and Midlothian. They found the perfect location at the former Post Office in Poland and quickly went to work preparing the building.
A year after the pharmacy opened in Poland, Norman and Lou Ann decided to take over the space recently vacated by the bakery next door. With plenty of room to spare, Wittenauer Pharmacy introduced the gift shop. Items that quickly became popular included Colonial Candles, clocks, and flower arrangements.
After opening the pharmacy and gift shop in Poland, the Wittenauers closed the remaining Struthers location and on March 13th, 1978, Wittenauers Pharmacy opened in Boardman, Ohio. The building, which was previously Wilbur's Florist, included a large greenhouse. The Wittenauers utilized the beautiful space for many of their gift items and live plants.
In 1987, the Boardman store closed, leaving Wittenauer’s Pharmacy and Gift Shop in Poland the last remaining location.
An independent businessman showed interest in purchasing the store from the Wittenauer family. While it was a tough decision for Norman, he sold Wittenauer’s Pharmacy and Gift Shop keeping ownership of the building in the family.
Throughout the next several years, Wittenauer's Pharmacy and Gift Shop remained relatively unchanged. Community members continued to visit the store for prescriptions, cards, and gifts, and children stopped by after school to pick up their favorite sweets!
In December of 2009, the owner of the Pharmacy and Gift Shop made a tough decision to shut its doors. The Wittenauer family was unaware of this decision until it was announced to the public. Although it was disappointing, the family saw an opportunity to serve the community in a whole new way.
The former Wittenauer's Pharmacy and Gift Shop will now be home to The Café at Wittenauer’s and The Gallery at Wittenauer's. Keep an eye on the building for exciting changes!