Puyallup Herald

A century-old Puyallup business is closing but won’t disappear completely

Beall’s Compounding Pharmacy owner Mark Norris is retiring after 27 years as a pharmacist. He took over the family business from his father is 1991. Aug. 2, 2018
Beall’s Compounding Pharmacy owner Mark Norris is retiring after 27 years as a pharmacist. He took over the family business from his father is 1991. Aug. 2, 2018 allison.needles@puyallupherald.com

A pharmacy that’s been local to downtown Puyallup since the 1890s is closing.

Beall’s Compounding Pharmacy, 110 W. Meeker, will close Friday (Aug. 10). The pharmacy’s owner, 66-year-old Mark Norris, is retiring after 27 years with the business, having bought it from his father, Larry Norris, in 1991.

“I’m ready to retire,” Norris said. “It is (sad) in a way, but in another way it’s time for us to do something different.”

A Puyallup legacy

The pharmacy opened in the 1890s. In 1912, Streetor Beall Sr. bought the business and named it Beall’s Rexall Pharmacy. Streetor Beall Jr. and Walter Dassel also became owners of the business in later years. It joined the Norris family in 1962.

In that time, the pharmacy had various locations. One was directly on Meridian. As a kid, Norris remembered watching the Daffodil Parade from the store’s fire escape.

Daff parade - RX 1950’s.jpg
A photo taken in the 1950s shows the Daffodil Parade passing Beall’s Rexall Drugs. The pharmacy, now Beall’s Compounding Pharmacy, is closing its doors this month. Deb Norris Courtesy

Later, the pharmacy became a compounding-only drugstore — one that creates custom medicine — because the market was driving that, Norris said.

Norris is a 1970 Puyallup High School graduate and a 1978 Washington State University graduate. He lives in Edgewood with his wife, Deb, a Sumner School District board member. They have three children, but none was interested in taking over the family business.

“I’m third-generation pharmacist,” Norris said. “My father’s father was a pharmacist, my dad, of course, was a pharmacist, and myself That’s a lot of legacies and traditions you don’t hear about in these days too frequently.”

The future of Beall’s

Before he retired, Norris wanted to find a place for his customers to go. He approached the only other pharmacy that does compounding in Puyallup, Kirk’s Pharmacy and Compounding.

Kirk’s, 618 S. Meridian, also is a family-run, independent pharmacy, co-owned by Kirk Heinz and his son, Andrew Heinz. The Heinzs agreed to integrate Beall’s into its business.

“Ultimately with wanting to retire, (Norris) is concerned about his patients,” Andrew Heinz said. “It wasn’t like he could just close his doors and they could go to Safeway with the patients he handles.”

The storefront of Beall’s Compounding Pharmacy at 110 W. Meeker in downtown Puyallup closes its doors this month as owner Mark Norris retires. Aug. 2, 2018 Allison Needles allison.needles@puyallupherald.com

It’s not common for one independent pharmacy to be sold to another, but Norris said it was important to him that the patients he was leaving behind be well taken care of. After retirement, he plans to make an occasional appearance at Kirk’s to help ease the transition.

“What we want our customers and patients to expect is no change,” he said. “That’s the goal. They’ll just be going somewhere different to get the service. Ideally, product, preparation and format will be the same.”

The change will bring extra benefits to clientele, because Kirk’s is a hybrid pharmacy, producing both compounds and regular prescriptions. It’s possible Kirk’s could bill insurance for a small fraction of compounds, and delivery is available.

“Something that we’re excited about is offering the patients the ability to now to get their compounds and potentially their regular prescriptions at one pharmacy,” Heinz said.

“It’s unfortunate that name is going away, in a sense,” Heinz added. “(But) it’s a win for Mark in that his patients are going to a good location, and he’s able to retire but continue to practice in less capacity. We’re excited for the opportunity to take care of his patients.”

Allison Needles: 253-597-8507, @herald_allison