Weather Forecast


A new life with Lewis Family Drug

Ryan McGaughey/Daily Globe Jill Leusink (far left) is the chief pharmacist at Lewis Family Drug in Sibley, Iowa, which opened earlier this winter.

SIBLEY, Iowa -- Jill Leusink didn't expect to both work and live in this northwest Iowa community when she moved here last spring.

As it turns out, things couldn't have worked out much better.

She's now the chief pharmacist at Lewis Family Drug, which opened at its 420 Second Ave. location last December and is celebrating its grand opening this month.

Originally from Rock Valley, Iowa, Leusink and her husband moved to Worthington about six and half years ago.

A Drake University graduate, Leusink got a job working as a pharmacist with Sterling Drug. They then opted to build a house in Sibley, where Leusink's husband is a teacher with the Sibley-Ocheyedan School District.

"Then Lewis called me out of the blue and said, 'Hey, we'd like you to be our pharmacist," Leusink recalled. "I really enjoyed Sterling and wasn't looking for anything; it just fell in my lap. My dad works for Lewis in Rock Valley, so I guess they knew who I was.

"Working in Sibley meant no driving and less hours, so it was something I couldn't pass up."

Lewis Family Drug has 32 locations scattered across South Dakota, Iowa and Minnesota. The Sibley store came to be, Leusink said, when the independently operated Park Pharmacy contacted Lewis and expressed an interesting in selling its business. Lewis, in turn, purchased the pharmacy files and opted to construct a new building along old Iowa 60.

In addition to a full-service pharmacy that includes a drive-thru window as well as delivery and mail options, Lewis Family Drug sells a number of odds and ends that are hard to find in Sibley,

"We do have a lot of things that they don't carry elsewhere in town," said Leusink. "We also do a lot of special ordering for people, and we're able to offer some better deals just because we're affiliated with a larger company."

Toys, notions, school supplies and Willow Tree gifts are some of the non-pharmacy items sold at Sibley's Lewis location. The store currently employs three full-time people -- a fourth will be added soon -- as well as two part-timers.

"We're having a grand opening all through February and giving away a weekly prize," Leusink said. "We also do a senior day once a month, when seniors get 10 percent off anything in the store. Plus, seniors get 10 percent off vitamins and supplies every day."

Leusink noted consumers have been supportive of the new store so far, and that "the drive-thru has been very busy," particularly during some of the colder days of the winter. As for working and living in Sibley, she continues to be pleased with the good fortune she's had.

"My husband has taught here for several years and I guess we liked the small community and school setting," she said.

Ryan McGaughey

I first joined the Daily Globe in April 2001 as sports editor. I later became the news editor in November 2002, and the managing editor in August 2006. I'm originally from New York State, and am married with two children.

(507) 376-7320