SLAYTON -- From her first day as a pharmacy technician, Chelsey Carlson knew she wanted to return to her hometown of Slayton.
Her dream was to not only return to the town where she was raised, but to own her own pharmacy.
On June 24, that dream became a reality.
"The first day I started as a pharmacy technician was kind of the day I knew I wanted to come back to Slayton as a pharmacist," said Carlson, who lives in the Slayton area with her husband, Keith. "It had always been in the back of my mind that someday I would be able to own a pharmacy in Slayton. At one point, it was just kind of a dream, which now has actually come true. I hope that it will be a success."
Teaming with Jason Turner, Carlson has opened a GuidePoint Pharmacy in Slayton.
"Slayton has kind of always been on the radar," Turner said. "It's a nice community. It only ever had one pharmacy there, which used to be an independent pharmacy and sold out several years ago to a different corporation.
"It just so happened, also, we had a student through probably four years ago that was from that area. I was so impressed with the way she handled herself and the type of pharmacist I knew she was going to become that it was always on my radar because of that, as well."
Turner, who is based in Worthington, also recently opened a pharmacy in Fulda.
"It is one of those things, when I first came out of college, I never really aspired to do," Turner said about owning three pharmacies. "Through the course of developing myself professionally, I thought that the way we did things was a little bit different than big companies tend to do them. I think a lot of people in our area really appreciate that yet -- when you pay attention to the details and the little things, go a little bit further in giving good service."
Carlson graduated from Murray County Central in 2003 and from South Dakota State University's College of Pharmacy in 2010.
"The best part about being a pharmacist in your hometown is being able to serve the people you've always known; people in the community that I was raised in," Carlson said.
It was during an internship she first met Turner.
"I interned for Jason at the store in Worthington during my final year of pharmacy school -- that's how I met him," Carlson said. "I stayed in touch a little bit over the last few years, and sometime in April of 2012, Jason contacted me, asking if I would be interested in starting up a store in Slayton with him. From there, we started working on the planning process and ended up opening up on June 24 of this year."
She returned to Slayton following graduation to work at a pharmacy. However, about a year ago, Turner contacted her to see if she would be interested in opening a pharmacy together.
"I had approached her to see if there would be any interest at all, and she was very interested," Turner said. "We just kind of kept moving forward from there and making plans.
"The timing was excellent ... the location we had kind of had our eye on fell into place, which was leasing space from the clinic and hospital. They were just in the process of starting a remodel and addition project themselves. Through the course of discussions with getting the telepharmacy going in Fulda, we also started with them about the possibility of a pharmacy in Slayton, as well. It all kind of fell into place together."
For Turner, knowing Carlson was a big reason why he decided to move forward.
"It was one of those things where the stars aligned," he said. "It was one of those areas where I always thought could use another pharmacy. She happened to be from that area and wanted to stay in that area. She just had the same type of ideals as far as the type of business she wanted to run and how she wanted to take care of customers."
Carlson pointed to the Turners as a big help in getting her started.
"It's an honor to work with Jason and Genny (Jason's wife) in owning this business," she said. "They have a very positive reputation in the area, and they have an established business in both Worthington and Fulda now. I appreciate Jason's mentorship to me in starting a young person out on their feet."
The pharmacy is located adjacent to the Murray County Medical Center, at the intersection of Minnesota 30 and Juniper Avenue. It is open 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Saturday. It can be reached at (507) 873-2075.
"I'm very excited to be on my own," Carlson said. "I was the pharmacy manager at my previous job for the last three years, so I've had that management aspect, which I wanted to continue. Now, I will have the opportunity to serve customers and respond to their requests."
Community Content Coordinator Aaron Hagen can be reached at 376-7323.