With the Covid-19 outbreak, Albany’s business landscape is changing daily. While some businesses are being forced to temporarily close to help slow the spread of the virus, others, deemed as necessary, are seeing increased demand and are adapting to meet the needs of their customers. U-Save-It Pharmacy, owned by the Sharpe family, already offered drive-through and free delivery options at several locations but quickly became overwhelmed by an avalanche of new delivery requests as their customers chose to limit time outside of their homes while scrambling to make sure that all of their essential prescriptions were filled.
“When all of this started a couple of weeks ago, my brother Tommy was helping our principal delivery man, Mr. Charlie, who had more deliveries than he could possibly make on his own,” says business co-owner Jay Sharpe, “Tommy had an idea to call our favorite restaurant server, Mr. Jerry from Villa Gargano’s. Mr. Jerry has become a family friend over the years, and we knew that Villa Gargano’s had just closed their dining room in response to our city’s Covid-19 plan.”
Tommy gave server Jerry Perez a call, and Jerry jumped at the chance to help the Sharpes out.
“I was already bored,” says Jerry, who is accustomed to a busy schedule. “I had cut the grass twice that week, and I was planning to paint the front of my house. But, when I got the call and learned about the situation at U-Save-It, I knew I needed to save the painting for later. It was time for me to give back to the Sharpes who have been such good friends to me and my family over the years.”
Jerry joined the U-Save-It team Monday, March 23.
“On that day, Mr. Charlie broke his all-time delivery record by 40%. Thankfully, Jerry was on board and able to help him get it all done,” says Jay.
Jerry plans to help out until Villa Gargano’s re-opens and he is able to return to job of 11 years. So far, this temporary arrangement has been a win-win for all concerned.
“The pharmacy is able to make sure that our customers get their medications, patients are able to use the delivery service instead of going out, and Jerry is able to have a job during a down time,” says Jay.
U-Save-It pharmacy locations are currently operating with closed storefronts for the safety of staff and patients, but the drive-through windows remain open at all locations. Of course, free delivery is still an option.
While no one knows how long it will be until business as usual can resume, Jay Sharpe notes that our community has withstood difficult times before, and he has confidence that we will do so in this situation as well.
“I’ve lived in Albany all my life and there’s one thing I’ve noticed over and over. Whenever there is a challenge that tests our city, Albany does a wonderful job of coming together to work for the betterment of our community.”