Small business Monday – spotlight on Crestwood Pharmacy and Soda Fountain

Birmingham AL, business
Taylor Trammell and Tyler Shadix, owners of Crestwood Pharmacy and Soda Fountain. Photo via Kristina O’Quinn for Bham Now

Have you ever had a lime rickey or a phosphate? Ever required the services of a compounding pharmacist? Well, look no further! Taylor Trammell and Tyler Shadix tell us about making the vision for a local pharmacy and soda fountain into a reality in this week’s edition of Small Business Monday.

Taylor Trammel – A little about myself. I grew up in Corner, AL about 30 miles north of Birmingham. I started undergrad at Samford University in 2004 and finished pharmacy school in 2011. After graduation, I took a job with CVS in North Carolina. I only lasted a short time with a chain pharmacy, and as it turns out, was quite homesick. So I moved home and took a job in specialty pharmacy. Specialty pharmacy is the pharmacy that services patients with rare/chronic disease states. These are typically expensive to treat and strict compliance is necessary for optimal outcomes. I really enjoyed specialty, but had the opportunity to learn compounding as a lab pharmacist in a busy compounding-only pharmacy.

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Taylor Trammell compounds specialty prescriptions in the on-site facility. Photo via Kristina O’Quinn for Bham Now

So I have been working in compounding exclusively since 2012. I really enjoy the compounding side. I like the scientific side of weighing the pure chemicals and working on formulas for specific patients. Every time you work in the hood, it feels like an experiment. I guess I’m a nerd! However, as much as I enjoyed that, I missed the patient interaction. I want to talk to people and help them feel better. My plan for Crestwood Pharmacy & Soda Fountain was to combine all of the best of the pharmacy world into one retail pharmacy. Back in the day, pharmacists would mix you up a soda when you were thirsty or medicine when you were sick (they were compounding!), or even disguise medicine in delicious sodas. We aren’t reinventing the wheel here, only reminding people what used to love!

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Photo via Kristina O’Quinn for Bham Now

Crestwood Pharmacy & Soda Fountain’s official first day open was August 1, 2017.  I have a business partner named Tyler Shadix. He is usually around the store too.

We are a full service retail pharmacy offering compounding services as well as a full OTC selection. We can fill your prescription and also carry items that make taking those prescriptions easier! For example, sometimes antibiotics can have side effects like diarrhea, and we have plenty of options for probiotics to battle that antibiotic induced diarrhea. We carry probiotic supplement along with more natural options like kombucha and sauerkraut that all contain live cultures! We also have a soda fountain where we serve the best ice cream in Alabama along with hand mixed sodas and other soda fountain classics. In time, we hope the menu will grow to include sundaes and banana splits.
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Ice cream shakes are a big hit! Photo via Kristina O’Quinn for Bham Now
Some of the old soda fountain classics are unfamiliar to a lot of people. They include: egg creams, lime rickeys, phosphates, and ice cream sodas. Soda jerks had their own language, something we are still learning! Come see us to taste the classics.  I’m really proud of the soda fountain because it sets the vibe of the space and sets us apart from most other pharmacies. It takes us back to a time when the pharmacist was a vital part of the community. You can get a delicious treat while you wait for your prescription or on your afternoon stroll to the park. But!…while the ice cream is a treat, it is not the focus.
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Taylor Trammell. Crestwood Pharmacy carries a full line of over the counter drugs. Photo via Kristina O’Quinn for Bham Now

My training is in pharmacy, so I also really love the pharmacy side and am proud to be Crestwood’s neighborhood pharmacist. I have a vision for building relationships with everyone in the community and being their pharmacist that they always see. In addition to commercial medications, we also have a compounding lab. Compounding is an age old practice of pharmacy where ingredients are mixed and personalized for each patient based on their specific needs. Commercial medications are great, but compounding is very useful and is an option when commercially available medications aren’t working or available.

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Probiotic products, including fermented drinks and supplements. Photo via Kristina O’Quinn for Bham Now

Crestwood is really a great neighborhood. I like that people really care about the neighborhood and try to support local. The people are really kind and supportive. I have really enjoyed getting to know the businesses around us and being within walking/biking distance from home.

I want people to know that we are a real pharmacy with a licensed pharmacist that co-owns the shop. We have the best ice cream in Alabama and want everyone to come hang out with us and get to know us. If the door is unlocked, come on in!

The most rewarding thing about being a small business owner is realizing my vision of what a community pharmacy should be. I get to interact with my neighbors, patients, kids getting ice cream and I get to do it my way, not a way that is guided by some corporate office six states away.

I just hope Birmingham keeps on keeping on. I have always loved my home, but am super excited to see all the momentum we have going in town now.

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Tyler Shadix at the old-time soda fountain. Photo via Kristina O’Quinn for Bham Now

Tyler Shadix –  I grew up in Roebuck and went to Trussville High School. Followed my wife down to Auburn while we were dating. We got married down there and have been back in Birmingham for nine years now.

We are a full service pharmacy offering traditional prescription services as well as non-sterile, non-hazardous compounding services. We also offer a wide range of over the counter medications, vitamins, supplements, and nutraceuticals. We will be offering curbside service at the store and free delivery within the Crestwood neighborhood.

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They carry probiotic, fermented products from Harvest Roots, including beet kvass by the shot or by the bottle! Photo via Kristina O’Quinn for Bham Now.
 The vibe of our place of our place seems to be what catches people off guard. We took our time renovating the space, and we were really intentional with the design.  People are excited to be in Crestwood right now. The shopping center is fully occupied now, and the housing market   is booming. It’s a diverse neighborhood that has proven itself to be supportive of small locally owned businesses. How can we not enjoy being here?!  I want people to know that we care. We care about people, and we care about the work we are doing. There are too many businesses being run by people that simply don’t care about the work they’re doing on a daily basis. That’s not us.
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Photo via Kristina O’Quinn for Bham Now
 The most rewarding thing about being a small business owner is creating something tangible that people can touch and feel, from what was once only an idea or a dream.  That is super rewarding to me. Seeing parents taking pictures of their kids eating ice cream out front or seeing someone’s face light up at the bar as they remember visiting their local pharmacy and soda fountain as a kid decades ago; it’s been awesome.  Actually impacting people’s lives and thinking, man, this place didn’t exist before we said yes to it and believed in it. It’s humbling but also encouraging.
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The MacKnally Family. Photo via Kristina O’Quinn for Bham Now
for more info about Crestwood Pharmacy –
Kristina O'Quinn
Kristina O'Quinn
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