Local team brings new kind of pharmacy to East Asheville, free delivery to WNC


When pharmacists Todd Tamplin and Dean Clayton purchased a community pharmacy on Tunnel Road in 2005, they had no idea that ten years later, they’d be creating a whole new approach to community pharmacy. The new building, located at 805 Fairview Road, has high ceilings, large windows, and most notably, a pharmacist right out front.

“We had historically been focused on long-term care pharmacy, so community pharmacy was a new world for us,” said Todd. “But our original building we bought was so small, the pharmacist was right out front to greet patients as they came in. They really liked that personal touch, especially compared to the big pharmacies where you have to go all of the way to the back to try to find the pharmacist.”

So, when patients asked for more services, like a clinic, urgent care services, and a drive- thru, Todd and Dean were excited to try.

They hired architects, drafted plans, and teamed up with Vickery Family Medicine in East Asheville to run the clinic. But Blue Ridge Pharmacy, their former name, wasn’t going to fit the new pharmacy.

So, the team went through an extensive naming process. They worked for weeks defining their mission, their values, and the feeling they wanted their patients to have. Eventually, they picked the name Sona.

“We wanted something fresh, that was more modern and evocative of listening, to reflect our approach and new location,” said Brad Melson, the general manager at the new location.

What makes this pharmacy special is its one-stop, team-based approach to health care, where patients can see a primary care physician, get an x-ray, purchase vitamins and OTC medications, get a vaccine, or ask questions about their prescriptions. The pharmacist welcomes customers and is available to guide patients through any medication questions and make OTC recommendations – no appointment necessary.

Most importantly, it’s locally owned and operated, so the team’s values reflect the values of the community. And, it’s independent, which allows Sona the freedom to take care of patients and charge affordable prices instead of having guidelines and prices determined by corporate outsiders.

Sona Pharmacy + Clinic is a community pharmacy and primary care clinic with urgent care services in Asheville, North Carolina. They deliver medications and OTC products for free within a 45-minute drive from Asheville. 828.298.3636. 805 Fairview Road.

About Thomas Calder
Thomas Calder received his MFA in Fiction from the University of Houston's Creative Writing Program. His writing has appeared in Gulf Coast, the Miracle Monocle, Juked and elsewhere. His debut novel, The Wind Under the Door, is now available.

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.