All In the Family: The Multi-Generational Pharmacy

Jack Dunn, RPh, of Jasper Drugs and Gifts, describes his experience carrying on the family business in pharmacy.

Jack Dunn, RPh, of Jasper Drugs and Gifts, describes his experience carrying on the family business in pharmacy.

“I still remember the spot where I told my dad I would never be a pharmacist,” said Jack Dunn, RPh, of Jasper Drugs and Gifts in Jasper, Georgia.

As a high school student preparing for college, Dunn helped his father, a pharmacist, move his pharmacy to a new building. In the midst of taking down shelves, packing boxes, and rolling carts of products and supplies down the block to the new location, he told his father not to worry about him when he left for school—he would never become a pharmacist. Or so he thought.

Instead, Dunn had dreams of becoming a football coach.

“I was always very active and athletic, and I enjoyed helping people,” he said. “So I thought it would a good fit.”

He began his college career playing football out of state. But reality quickly set in as tuition bills, even with his football scholarship, were hefty. Leaving behind his sports dreams, Dunn began to consider more practical options for his future.

“I knew it was a dream that wasn’t going to happen,” he said. “But I knew I wanted to help people, and pharmacy is all about helping people.”

Going back on his word to his father, Dunn decided to pursue a career in pharmacy.

“I had to do a 180 degrees turn to do that and I spent a lot more time in school,” he said.

Now the owner of the pharmacy his father co-founded, Dunn applies the values he learned from his dad growing up in the pharmacy.

“It’s all about customer experience, not customer service. We really take the time to talk with, get to know, and care for our customers.”

While attending Mercer University, Dunn met his wife, Terry, who was also a student at the school of pharmacy. She worked as a hospital pharmacist for many years before joining the family business. She now works as a pharmacist for the second pharmacy location inside the Foothills IGA Market, a local grocery store.

Coming full circle, Dunn’s son is now pursuing a career in pharmacy. After originally wanting to attend medical school to become a physician, he decided he wanted to become a pharmacist instead. He will complete a residency program at Saint Joseph Hospital East in Lexington, Kentucky. Whether Dunn’s son sticks with pharmacy, or takes on the family business or not isn’t the most important thing to him.

“I want him to do what he wants to do, and I want him to be happy,” Dunn said. “I don’t know if my son will come back to work at my pharmacy, but never say never!”