BAR HARBOR — Mike Gilfillan, owner of West End Drug, announced Wednesday that he plans to retire and join his pharmacy business with Hannaford Supermarkets.
West End’s patient records will be confidentially transferred to Hannaford after West End Drug closes its prescription drug business at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 29, according to an announcement from Hannaford. The pharmacy staff at Hannaford will begin providing service to West End customers immediately thereafter.
The non-pharmacy part of West End will remain open for several weeks to sell off remaining inventory, Gilfillan said.
“I’d like to thank the three generations of people who live on the island and have trusted us with their business for so many years,” he said.
The drugstore celebrated its 100th anniversary this year. On Oct. 15, 1918, Dr. William Rogers, one of the first physicians in Bar Harbor, sold what was then the Rogers Pharmacy to Harry Gordon and James Gilfillan, grandfather of present owner Michael Gilfillan.
Like his father and grandfather, current owner Michael Gilfillan began working in the store while in high school, in 1973, and then returned to the store as a full-time pharmacist in 1980 after graduating from the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and becoming licensed.
By spending so much time in the store at young ages, Michael had a leg up on his fellow students in pharmacy school.
“It made it easier already knowing the drugs,” he said. “It was nice to learn all the theory in school, but the practical implications I learned right here.”
Until she left for college, Michael’s daughter Danielle also worked in the store, as did his sons Andy and Alex (who continues to work summers).
In 2006, Stacey Gilfillan, Michael’s wife, took over the bookkeeping duties.
Hannaford expects to offer West End Drug employees positions with the Bar Harbor store, the announcement said. See more on the transition in next week’s Islander.