Larry and Angela Burns have purchased historic Palace Drug in Mammoth Spring. The couple lived and worked in Little Rock for the past 10 years and have now realized a longtime dream by becoming owners of Palace Drug and by returning to the town where they were raised.
"We wanted to move back to Mammoth Spring, particularly after we started thinking about having children. We wanted our kids to grow up in a small town like we did. We're excited that they will get to go to the same school system and be part of the same community that helped shape us, and we're also very pleased to be able to be business owners in our hometown," said Larry Burns.
Both of the Burnses will be hands-on with the operation of Palace Drug. Angela will be handling the pharmacist duties, while Larry will manage the day-to-day operations of the store and be involved as a licensed pharmacy technician.
Angela graduated from Mammoth Spring High School in 1997 and then received her doctorate in pharmacy from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. Larry is a 1989 graduate of Mammoth Spring High School and received his masters of electrical engineering degree from Purdue University in 1995. Both had successful careers in Little Rock -- Angela worked as a pharmacist for St. Vincent Hospital and Cantrell Drug, while Larry worked in engineering for Alltel.
Palace Drug offers a friendly full-service pharmacy with a level of service which shows that the ease and comfort of the customer is their number one concern. Palace Drug accepts all major forms of insurance, including out-of-state plans. Palace Drug is a licensed pharmacy in both Arkansas and Missouri.
"For us, owning our own pharmacy is about making things convenient for our customers. That's why we deliver prescriptions for free; we'll also mail prescriptions for free. We have a drive-through window and we make ourselves available to our customers after hours by encouraging people to call us at home if they need help after the store has closed," said Larry. "It seems like a lot of people in the medical field want to remain distant from their customers. We didn't move back to our hometown and buy a business to be distant. We encourage our customers to call us at home if they need our help or have questions."
Palace Drug also offers a wide variety of over-the-counter drug items. The store can get any over the counter or prescription items delivered overnight to be in the store the next day. They can also special order medicine or supplies and keep those items in stock for customers who need them.
"For people who have private insurance, Medicaid or Medicare, all pharmacies charge the exact same co-pays for drugs, so independent pharmacies like us are a much better deal because the level of service is far superior. And for people without insurance, we have lower prices than those other pharmacies. Many people don't know this and expect us to be more expensive. But we don't have corporate executives setting our prices, and we don't have layers of management salaries to support," Larry said.
Palace Drug also offers a café and gift section. The café offers daily lunch specials and also has an old fashioned soda fountain and a wide variety of ice cream. The gift section has unique, high quality gifts with an ever-changing selection and they offer free gift wrapping.
Mammoth Spring's Palace Drug was first opened in 1882 when the local pharmacy was moved next door to the Palace Hotel and rechristened Palace Drug. In 1921, S.T. Hayes bought Palace Drug and since then the store has had only six owners. Larry and Angela Burns purchased the store from Karrol and Vicki Fowlkes.