Recent Graduate Catches Entrepreneurial Spirit
December 13, 2019
AUBURN, Alabama – Taking a dream and turning it into reality, recent Harrison School of Pharmacy graduate Chris Finley, along with wife Nicole, celebrated the opening of their new independent Pharmacy, Auburn Pharmacy, in November.
Located on North Dean Road in Auburn, the business is a combination of Chris’ pharmacy background along with Nicole’s marketing background and their combined entrepreneurial spirit. Chris earned his Pharm.D. from HSOP in 2018 while Nicole earned her B.A. in communications and sociology in 2007.
“We have always felt a pull to fellowship through helping others but did not have a vessel to do this through work,” said Chris. “We had always dreamt of owning our own pharmacy so we could not only help those physically, but also emotionally and spiritually.”
Embracing the style of an old-fashioned pharmacy and soda fountain, the Finleys plan to offer free delivery, free medication packaging, vaccinations, efficient prescription filling, a two-window drive-thru, a large gift shop with free wrapping and personal shopping that can be called in and picked up later via the drive-thru.
Both Chris and Nicole are from Bainbridge, Georgia, but have made Auburn their home. Nicole owned and operated a successful women’s boutique in Bainbridge while Chris was finishing his undergraduate work at Valdosta State. She converted him into an Auburn Tiger for pharmacy school, got married, sold the business and made the move.
“Auburn was not even on my radar when getting ready to apply for pharmacy schools. She did her undergrad at Auburn and was looking for a reason to come back,” said Chris. “I didn't think I had a chance at getting into a top-25 pharmacy school early, but I threw my name into the hat and the rest was history. Best decision I every made and was definitely part of God's plan for us.”
After working at various pharmacies, Chris knew his path was in independent, local pharmacy. With a wife and partner that was no stranger to entrepreneurship, the couple put their heads together on how they could offer a unique and innovative pharmacy experience.
“Nicole is always innovating how the customer experience could be better. She graduated from Auburn with her bachelor's in communication and later got her master's in business/marketing,” said Chris. “When building the pharmacy, I added a space for clinical work/immunizations/health screenings. We hope to eventually get into these areas to provide services that can be beneficial to our patients as far as the current laws allow.”
With the look and feel of an old-fashioned pharmacy, the Finleys also want to embrace technology and advancements in practice.
“We just rolled out our website recently, auburn-pharmacy.com, and it will allow you to refill prescriptions online, transfer your prescriptions from another pharmacy, get medication information, and learn about us and our services,” said Chris. We also have an app that also offers the options above plus more. We also hope to work with HSOP to participate in ongoing studies and host pharmacy interns.”
In completing the process, Chris and Nicole are thankful to the support of Auburn and HSOP as they add “business owner” to their titles.
“The Harrison School of Pharmacy was a blessing to me and my family,” said Chris. “I met so many great people through the school who continue to support and help me throughout our venture. That makes this the perfect place to open a pharmacy for us.”
About the Harrison School of Pharmacy
Auburn University’s Harrison School of Pharmacy is ranked among the top 20 percent of all pharmacy schools in the United States, according to U.S. News & World Report. Fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), the School offers doctoral degrees in pharmacy (Pharm.D.) and pharmaceutical sciences (Ph.D.) while also offering a master’s in pharmaceutical sciences. The School’s commitment to world-class scholarship and interdisciplinary research speaks to Auburn’s overarching Carnegie R1 designation that places Auburn among the top 100 doctoral research universities in the nation. For more information about the School, please call 334.844.8348 or visit http://pharmacy.auburn.edu.
Last Updated: December 13, 2019