The Choto community soon will have a neighborhood, family-owned pharmacist moving in to Markets at Choto.
David Belew, owner of Belew Drugs, is anticipating the opening of the company’s fourth pharmacy location, 1616 Choto Markets Way next to Tennova Walk-In Clinic in Markets at Choto in Concord, which he hopes will take place some time in the middle of September.
“Oh, we’re excited,” Belew said. “We are looking forward to taking care of a wide range of people and pets.
“We’re sort of at the point we’ve got final plans of everything,” he added. “All the permitting is done in regard to construction, but we’re still sort of cleaning things up, deciding specifics on some things.
“The original open date was April 1. We’ve passed that. My thought is, at this point, if we were to open the first week of September, we’d be lucky. We’re probably looking more at the middle of September.
“Our hope is what they are creating out here — through what they’re choosing to lease to — is we’re providing some services that are not traditionally found in a community like this,” he said. “So, folks are going to have an urgent and primary care medical office, a dentist and a pharmacy within three or four minutes drive time from their home.
“Quality health care generally requires a little more effort that that, and it’s going to be a real luxury for folks out here, I think, to be able to utilize these services.”
Dr. Elizabeth Royal will be the pharmacist in charge once the pharmacy opens its doors.
“I’m real excited,” she said. She completed her post-graduate training at The University of Tennessee and her residency at Belew Drugs this past year. Royal, a West Knoxville resident, said she is familiar with the area.
“I think it will be a great population to reach,” she said. “We will have a variety of ages.”
“In the world of pharmacy, we do a little bit of everything,” Belew said. “Dr. Royal has a hormone replacement consultation service and we will base that practice out of this location.”
Belew’s father, Len Belew, opened the Broadway store, in Knoxville, its first location, in 1965. Its second location is in the Four-Way [Carter] community off Asheville Highway and the third location is at the intersection of Washington Pike and Murphy Road near Knoxville Center Mall.
“We have kind of created a slice of pie that starts downtown and sort of wedges out north and east right now, so this location certainly is new from a directional standpoint,” Belew said.
In looking at places around Knox County to expand, Belew said, “This is really kind of a perfect location. It’s the proper mix of what we’re looking for [in a residential area]. We’d like to serve a wide range of ages.
“It’s just a nice mix of people we can hopefully care for in the next 30 to 40 years,” he added. “Our real goal is to treat people the way they deserve to be treated in an industry that, perhaps, has gotten away from that a little bit.”
Belew said he still has a few patients at the original location in Broadway Shopping Center that were his dad’s patients.
Belew said having the Tennova clinic located next door will be fantastic for the pharmacy.
“It’s one of the things that made this location that much more appealing to us,” he said. “My hope is that we can develop a symbiotic relationship, where we can help them through provision of some very efficient pharmaceutical services, being right next to them.
“And I hope we can provide for them a source of patients that we feel need a little more advanced diagnosing,” Belew added.
A dentist office is also being planned in Markets at Choto, Royal said.