For two decades, Frank Iannarone has owned the Madison Pharmacy at Main Street and Central Avenue.
He bought the pharmacy after externing there as a student in Rutgers' pharmacy program, and now he's the one accepting externs. He even married one of them, his wife, Karen, who works for Novartis in its over-the-counter division.
Iannarone said he's the third owner of Madison Pharmacy and before 66 Main Street was a pharmacy, it was a bank.
A topic that comes up with customers these days is the Walgreens that's under construction at Main Street and Greenwood Avenue, usually in the context of how customers plan to keep their business with him—which Iannarone is happy to hear.
He said he hopes Walgreens' arrival, possibly by year's end, would have more of an effect on the pharmacy at Stop and Shop than on the Madison Pharmacy.
He said he has established strong relationships in the community from coaching softball teams, working with the Madison Chamber of Commerce and Downtown Development Commission. Two of his four pharmacists live in Madison.
And the pharmacy has an ear piercing station, which is where he estimates just about every girl in Madison has her ears pierced.
The pharmacy works with assisted living facilities and college health centers, and fills about two hundred prescriptions a day, he said.
"You have to go out and get your business," Iannarone said
His customers "love consistency," he said. "It gives them a good feeling."
Last week, one customer let him know she knew he was on vacation the week before, and then asked about a particular vaccination. When another customer walked in, he let her know her husband's prescription was in before she had the chance to ask for it.
"That's what I'm here for," she said.
Its website bills the Madison Pharmacy as "a family owned, independent pharmacy in beautiful downtown Madison" offering "small town charm with state of the art technology and service."
"We will fill your prescriptions promptly, bill your health insurance company, and even deliver your prescriptions if you desire," it says.
So, while many consider the Madison Pharmacy a "mom and pop" business, that might not do justice for the operation that needs to work with insurance companies, comply with privacy laws and relied on two generators to keep its computers running so it could continue filling prescriptions after a snowstorm last October knocked out power.
"Technologically, we're up there with anybody else," he said.
Iannarone's involvement in the community hasn't gone unnoticed. Last week, Mayor Bob Conley declared Sept. 24 Frank Iannarone Day in recogntion of his volunteer efforts with the Municipal Alliance Addressing Substance Abuse, leading three county-sponsored campaigns to combat underage drinking and illegal drug use—Parents Who Host Lose the Most, Sticker Shock, and a prescription drug drop off event, that involved working with the Madison Police Department.
He also works with seniors to explain the proper use of prescription drugs and the potential risks of drug interactions, and was named the Morris County Alliance Volunteer of the Year.