In his pharmacy, Harris is quick to point out the importance of customer service and his belief that patients should be able to talk to a pharmacist when they have a problem.
But he also offers a few practical tips.
“It’s a place where you can go, like the doctor’s office or the dentist’s office, to talk about your problems,” he said.
“And it’s a good place to check to make sure that everything is OK.”
Harris’ pharmacy is located at 1220 South Main St., in the Northside, which is just steps away from the North Loop.
Harris said the store has an on-site pharmacy and has been doing well since he opened it nearly three years ago.
He said the pharmacy also provides a place for customers to pick up prescription medication.
Harris was inspired to open the pharmacy after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and then living in hospice.
Harris began by taking care of patients.
“We started out by taking patients’ prescription for a drug, and then we took care of them until we found a new medication for them,” he explained.
The pharmacy has expanded over the past three years.
Harris says that it has now grown from about 10 to about 30 employees.
The store has more than 30,000 square feet of space, which includes a pharmacy, pharmacy-like room, a large waiting area, and a large room with a large television and a bar.
“I think it’s been a great success,” Harris said.
But Harris is careful to point to the challenges of being an onsite pharmacy.
“When you’re a pharmacy owner, there’s always the expectation that you need to be in the business for the long haul, and that’s not always the case,” he noted.
“Sometimes we get lucky, and sometimes we don’t.
Sometimes you can get lucky.
And sometimes you can’t.”
When he was first diagnosed with cancer, Harris was working a second job to supplement his income.
When he wasn’t able to get a job, he was often left with little choice but to take on a second career.
“As a patient, I felt I was not getting enough attention,” Harris recalled.
“People were asking me questions, and I felt like I was being ignored.”
When Harris was offered a position at the pharmacy, he chose it because it would give him more time to care for his family and keep up with his work schedule.
He has since become a mentor to many other patients.
One patient asked Harris to work at his home as a pharmacy technician.
“He was the type of person that had no interest in the outside world,” Harris noted.
For now, Harris continues to work full-time at his pharmacy and does a lot of his own medicine and surgery.
“There’s always something to do,” he added.
“But I just like to do the things that I like to.”