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Newport getting third pharmacy

November 05, 2009
NEWPORT — A third pharmacy will be opening soon in Newport.

Fred A. Zullo, a Newport native and current resident of Claremont, hopes to have Z Pharmacy ready to serve customers by Jan. 1.

"With three pharmacies in town, there will be a true choice," said Zullo who will turn 44 in December.

""There is enough for everyone to have a little bit of the pie and do well," Zullo said of the pharmacy trifecta. He hopes to finish out his career at Z Pharmacy located in the 239 Sunapee St., building that housed Sunapee Flooring & Bedding Company Inc. for decades before it moved to another Newport location.

The 1986 graduate of Newport Middle High School has an important goal at the top of his list. " I want to enjoy going to work every day," he emphasized.

Z Pharmacy will actually be more than a pharmacy. The pharmacy section itself will be the starting point. Next comes the self-serve lunch counter that will feature pre-made sandwiches from Farro's Deli in Claremont along with chips and drinks.

A gift shop will be located on the second floor. "Loretta Whipple will be providing guidance for the gift shop," Zullo stated. For years, Whipple operated Brickstone Gift & Florist outlet on Oak Street.

By next summer, a deck with café tables will be constructed at the rear of the building overlooking the pond area that is part of the Sugar River that flows past the property.

The building itself was purchased recently from United Construction Corporation of Newport for $200,000 by the Zullo-Dauphin Group LLC of Claremont. Zullo and his partner, Andrew Dauphin of Claremont, also own the Moody Building in downtown Claremont.

Zullo will partner with another friend, Mark Ciecko of Hampton Falls, N.H., in the pharmacy operation.

"We graduated from Northeastern University," Zullo said. Both will work full-time at Z Pharmacy. There will be two other part-time personnel.

An area will be designated on the other side of the pharmacy area where customers will be able to consult privately with one of the pharmacists.

Z Pharmacy ended up at its new home almost by chance. Driving past the building this summer on his way to work at Colonial Pharmacy in New London, Zullo noticed the property was on the market.

"I told another friend who was looking to open her own pharmacy about the building but she ended up in Warner," Zullo said.

At that time the only pharmacy in Newport was Rite Aid. Unknown to Zullo, plans to open Sugar River Pharmacy in the Shaw's plaza were already in the works. That pharmacy is now open.

Moving down a notch to No. 3 on the list didn't phase Zullo whose first job prior to high school was delivering the Eagle Times, then an afternoon newspaper, in the Summer Street and Columbus Circle section of Newport.

"I think there is enough population to support three pharmacies," Zullo related. "We're all so different."

The front and sides of the big building are being repainted. "We probably won't be able to get to the back until spring," Zullo said.

The main entrance area at the front of the building will be regraded to allow for construction of a handicap access ramp with a railing. Plantings will also be added.

An island will be developed in the parking area that will accommodate about 20 vehicles that will enter at the upper end next to the building and exit on the lower end.

Both Zullo and Ciecko are official fitters for support stockings. They are also certified to administer flu shots in Massachusetts. "We'd also like to be able to do that here," Zullo said.

In the end, however, Zullo said he and Ciecko are planning to offer more diverse opportunities for customers who patronize Z Pharmacy.

"We're looking for a better atmosphere with better service and no long lines," Zullo stated.

Town of Alexandria
Martin Lord & Osman
Salmon Press
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