Three generations of Buena Vista Drug owners

The three generations of Buena Vista Drug owners are, from left, Tara Thompson, first owner Freida Thompson, current owner Lucas Smith, Jill Smith holding Eleanora Smith, Connie Smallwood and Tom Smallwood, the second owner.

by Andrea Newell

Times Correspondent

BUENA VISTA – Buena Vista Drug is celebrating 50 years at its current location at 403 U.S. 24 South.

The pharmacy was moved from Main Street to its highway location in 1969 and run by Freida Thompson and her family. In 1983, it changed hands to Tom Smallwood and then to Lucas and Jill Smith in 2017.

Over the years, the pharmacy and gift shop have expanded to offer more goods and services and implemented new technology. Some of the additions include vaccinations, the online patient portal, interactive phone application, a disposal for unused or outdated medications and a drive-through service.

“I appreciate the support of the community, and I enjoy being able to expand our services and helping the members of our community with their health care,” Smith said. “I feel honored to be the third owner of the pharmacy that has been around for 50 years and has still been a strong business in the community.”

The store will host a 50th anniversary celebration Saturday with hot dogs and chips, cake and a prize giveaway.

Around 1:30 p.m., owner and pharmacist Lucas Smith will speak, and County Commissioner Keith Baker will present a proclamation. Then the anniversary cake will be cut and served.

A short 50th anniversary video can be viewed at

The Chaffee County Times in Buena Vista is published by Arkansas Valley Publishing Co., the parent company of The Mountain Mail.

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