Wilmore pharmacy continues tradition of serving the community

Sim’s Drugstore, Wilmore’s hometown pharmacy, has a legacy that spans over 100 years and despite its age it is still the small-town store it has always been.
Located at 319 E. Main St. in Wilmore, Sim’s Drugstore is open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays.
Owner and pharmacist John McDaniel said the pharmacy was founded in 1880 by the Dunlop family before being bought by the then-mayor of Wilmore, Hugh Byron Sims, in the early 20th Century.
In the mid-2000s Hugh’s son Byron Sims, who had previously taken over the pharmacy, sold its records to CVS before McDaniel purchased the business in 2007.
Sim’s Drugstore shares the space with Sim’s Pizzeria and Ice Cream, owned by retired chef Greg Scott. Sim’s Pizzeria offers sandwiches, pizza, ice cream and a vintage soda fountain.
Like most small businesses, McDaniel said space and manpower are sometimes limited, but that does not prevent efficiency in his shop.
“I really don’t feel limited in any way,” McDaniel said. “I’m limited by my own vision and the time in the day. When we make a decision to offer a product or service it’s a quick decision on my part and we move forward with it. It doesn’t have to go through a chain of command.”
One recent addition to the pharmacy’s services has been deliveries. McDaniel said he delivers at no charge to all of Jessamine County and even parts of southern Lexington.
“It’s an honor to be the one to help people,” McDaniel said.
McDaniel said many Wilmore residents who are homebound rely on the deliveries. He said he often fills his days off with deliveries and administering vaccines to local residents.
“It’s fun to meet people on their turf,” McDaniel said.
While he is dedicated to visiting customers in town, McDaniel is also devoted to customers in the store.
“I tell people the hours we are open have nothing do with me being in here,” McDaniel said. “If you’re running late, call me and I’ll stick around.”
McDaniel said one of the most meaningful compliments he has ever received came from an Asbury Seminary family that had stayed in Wilmore.
“While servicing the husband, his wife had called him on his cell phone. He said ‘I’m at John’s,’” McDaniel said. “His wife knew exactly where he was. It was an honor to have that relationship with people.”
In addition to serving the health needs of the community, McDaniel said Sim’s also carries Melissa and Doug toys in front of the pharmacy, which he said has been a success.
McDaniel said he has been servicing Wesley Village, a senior living community in Wilmore, for 10 years.
“I’ve had a lot of great friends at Wesley Village,” McDaniel said. “The one thing about being a pharmacist that I never realized is I never thought about it that far down the line — losing people that you truly love.”
McDaniel has wanted to be a pharmacist since he was a child, and that dream became a reality because of his mother, who was a Jessamine County clerk for many years.
“She’s had a big impact on me and how you treat people and what you do for them,” McDaniel said. “A big part of my success was her.”
McDaniel values the heritage that accompanies Sim’s Drugstore.
“We’re all about legacy and keeping the place going,” McDaniel said. “I’ve got an amazing group of people that work here. If I can just stay out of their way, it’ll be OK. This community has been a blessing to me. It is all I can do to try to be a blessing back to it for a long, long time.”