The Pharmacy-Northshire is one of three pharmacies purchased by Harsh Patel from the O'Neill family. 

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BENNINGTON — Three locally-owned pharmacies serving Bennington County have changed hands, according to a post on the firm’s social media pages.

The Pharmacy and Extended Care Pharmacy in Bennington, and The Pharmacy-Northshire in Manchester, have been sold to Harsh Patel by the O’Neill family, according to the announcement. The transaction was completed on Dec. 19 and announced on Dec. 24, according to the announcement.

The flagship store at 205 North St. opened on Feb. 3, 1969 under the partnership of Edward Molloy and Philip O’Neill, according to the release. It was one of four local community pharmacies serving Southwestern Vermont at the time, and weathered challenges over the years to grow the business.

After Molloy’s retirement in 2005, O’Neill decided to expand the footprint to Manchester, recognizing the need for both a smaller, boutique style pharmacy in the Northshire — one dedicated to providing services for patients requiring different delivery systems to best manage their medication needs.

“We have been blessed by both the thousands of customers that trusted their prescription needs to us over the years and equally blessed by the dedicated employees who serviced them,” Keith O’Neill, who has overseen the operation of the businesses since early 2018, said in the announcement.

“Dad didn’t want to talk much about what it would look like when this day came before his death in March of 2021”, O’Neill said, “just that I find a successor with like passions and principals for community pharmacy. I am very pleased by this outcome for customers and staff alike.”

The businesses will remain in the same location, according to Patel, who is now focusing on acquiring the properties, as well. The customers will see little change in the day-to-day operation as employees and even the delivery vehicles will remain, according to the announcement.

The three pharmacies employ seven full time pharmacists among the 30-plus staff members that will transition, the announcement said.

“I give Harsh and his team a ton of credit as they expand their footprint in retail pharmacy,” O’Neill said. “These are challenging times with the strengths of major retail, growth of on-line outlets and the margin compression we have witnessed over the past many years.”

In the online announcement, head pharmacist Michael Leake said day-to-day operations will remain as they have been.

“While ownership under the guiding hands of the O’Neill family has changed ... the same team is in place and continuing the care each day for our community that Ed and Phil instituted so many years ago,” Leake said. “We are thankful for all that Keith has done in the ownership role since Phil’s passing, and look forward to working with Harsh to keep delivering the best pharmacy and medical equipment services to our neighbors.”

Both retail pharmacies are open six days a week. Extended Care is open Monday through Friday.


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