After debating the need for a liquor store in the area and the unusual retail combination, selectmen this week — in a split vote — granted the owner of Community Care Pharmacy a license to sell beer and wine next to her future 214 Rumford Avenue drug store, as reported by the Enterprise News.
“I’ve never stopped anyone from starting a business and trying to succeed in this town,” selectman George Dentino said Wednesday night.
Lauretta Okoye of Hill Street in Foxboro, said her pharmacy would occupy the smaller part of the 2,000 square-foot retail premises under the new 24 loft-style condominium structure.
The Enterprise News reports that Okoye, a Northeastern University graduate with almost 20 years in the pharmacy business, has worked for small independents and large chains in town and in Boston.
She said larger companies such as Walgreen’s and Wal-Mart often combine alcohol and drug sales.
“It’s not a new model for business in Massachusetts,” she said.
She is in the process of applying to the state Board of Pharmacies for a license for the store she said is designed to serve the community more than loading shelves with product.
“Anyone that walks into my pharmacy will come back again,” she said.
Selectmen struggled with the mixed-use concept but said their job was to decide on the need for another liquor store in the area. Although there are a half dozen licensed shops in the area, none of the previous license requests were denied.
Selectman Kevin Moran said the town was encouraging a variety of businesses to open in the downtown area.
“This is something different,” he said.
Dentino said the question of need would “be satisfied by the success or demise of the operation.”
The vote was split. Moran, Dentino and selectman Olivier Kozlowski voted in favor of granting the license, Chairman Jess Aptowitz opposed it and selectman Doug Annino abstained because he designed the development.