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Castle Shannon pharmacist has extra care for customers

| Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012, 9:12 p.m.
Pharmacist Kevin Evancic offers to shop and deliver both medications and small amounts of food for his customers at his pharmacy in the Castle Shannon Shop 'n Save Thursday, December 27, 2012. Heidi Murrin Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Pharmacist Kevin Evancic gets some help from Pharmacy Technician Chickie Thomas to bring in his cart of food items that he shopped for a customer Thursday, December 27, 2012. Evancic offers to deliver small amounts of food along with customers' medications at his pharmacy in the Castle Shannon Shop 'n Save. Heidi Murrin Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Blood pressure medication? Check.

Diabetic test strips? Check.

Cholesterol pills? Check.

Bread? Check.

Yes, check all of those items off Kevin Evancic's list. He is a pharmacist who couples deliveries of prescriptions with — groceries.

As owner of Kevin's Shop 'n Save Pharmacy inside the Castle Shannon store, it's his way of providing a little extra customer service.

“I feel like you get more of a personal touch here,” Evancic says. “I know most of the people who come here for prescriptions, and they know me. I want our community to know that this is a special city where businesses care about their customers by continuing to go above and beyond standard business practices, even if that thinking has long passed.”

Evancic says he is happy to bring 12 or so necessary food items along with the much-needed medications. He thought of the idea after a friend's ill mother needed prescriptions and groceries dropped off at her house.

“I thought, ‘who else might need this service?' ” Evancic says.

People like John Pacelli, of Castle Shannon, who is having a much easier holiday season, thanks to Evancic.

“What Kevin is doing is wonderful,” says Pacelli. “He's a blessing upon our little community here. I am grateful for all the extra stuff he does for me, especially now that it is cold outside.”

Evancic plans to continue the free service into the new year.

“I like doing it, and I can do it because this is not the type of pharmacy where people are lined up all day,” says Evancic, who has owned the place since February 2006. “There is some downtime, so I use that opportunity to go through the store and shop.”

He pushes the cart up and down the aisles, wearing his pharmacist white coat and checking off items while perusing the weekly specials flyer.

“It just felt natural to become a pharmacist,” says Evancic, who is following in his father's footsteps. “And combining prescriptions with groceries, well, that only felt natural, too. I can go by most of the places on the way home from work, so I am happy to help out.”

He says he thought about what he could do that would make his pharmacy different. He isn't able to offer free prescriptions like some stores, but he can offer personalized service.

“I know it's a cliché, but it's about the personal touch,” he says. “It's about taking care of customers. I know their names. They know me. We can joke around. I want the experience here to be different.”

Evancic's first delivery experience was in high school as a driver for his father, Kenneth Evancic, who owns and operates Pleasant Hills Apothecary in Jefferson Hills.

“Pharmaceutical care that treats customers like family has been a part of my life since I was born,” says Kevin Evancic, a graduate of Duquesne University's Mylan School of Pharmacy. “I am glad to pass along the traditions my dad taught me all those years ago.”

His dad appreciates his focus on customer service.

“When he told me about the idea, I thought it was a great idea,” the elder Evancic says. “He has seen people who might need some extra help and who might not be able to get out in the bad weather, so I think it is great he is helping them.”

Chickie Thomas, a pharmacy technician who works for Kevin Evancic says she is not surprised he is going the extra mile.

“He doesn't expect us to do anything that he wouldn't do,” Thomas. says “He is a great guy. I think it is really nice what he is doing. It means a lot to the customers who can't get here, especially in the winter.”

“He spoils me,” customer Xiomara Rios, of Mt. Lebanon, says. “This is the best pharmacy. If I need something, Kevin is there. I don't want to go anywhere else. He treats me right. My doctor told me I could get some free prescriptions somewhere else, but I told my doctor that I get treated right here with Kevin, and this is the only place I am going to go for my prescriptions.”

Kevin's Shop 'n Save Pharmacy, 799 Castle Shannon Blvd. Details: 412-561-2417

JoAnne Klimovich Harrop is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at or 412-320-7889.

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