New Pharmacy Preserves the Past, Promotes Community Wellness
Caleb Meacham is always in motion. The marathon runner and innate go-getter was an All-State football player at Sapulpa High School, bought his first pharmacy nine months after he graduated from OU-Tulsa, and now at age 32, is opening his second location on Cherry Street.
Apothēke, Greek for pharmacy, is an independent pharmacy, compounding lab, and retail store. Meacham, owner and pharmacist, chose the old McKee Sewing Center building because of its location and the area’s natural traffic flow. It has easy access off the Broken Arrow expressway and is within a mile of St. John Medical Center, Hillcrest Medical Center, and numerous medical offices. In fact, a new women’s health clinic is opening in the space next door.
Respecting the Past
Meacham chose the iconic McKee Sewing Center building for the location, but also as a way to preserve the architectural style of the neighborhood.
“The building was empty for 10 years. It’s taken a lot to restore it and bring it back up to code. Honestly, it would have been cheaper and easier to knock it down and start from scratch, but they don’t make buildings like this anymore,” he says. “We found many treasures throughout the construction process. For instance, we found nails shaped like mini railroad spikes reclaimed from the building’s 100 year old wood. And we found a sweet inscription in the concrete about the former owner that reads, ‘Clara McKee, first lady of sewing machines’ in the back parking lot.”
Meacham has taken painstaking steps to tie together the original 1920s design of exposed antique brick and open duct work with a clean, modern interior with stained concrete floors, granite counter tops, and colorful accent walls. Instead of throwing away the original McKee Sewing Center sign which has adorned the building for decades, Meacham had it restored to its former glory and placed next to his new store sign. In addition, he commissioned a local artist to build an old-fashioned soda machine as a nod to the past when drug stores had soda fountains.
So, why is compounding important?
Meacham says, “Because everybody is different. Prescription drugs are mass produced for the average person. However, most people aren’t ‘average’. Some people can’t have dyes, some are intolerant to gluten, while others have lactose allergies. In fact, lactose is used in many medicines as fillers. Compounding serves those needs.”
He explains that individuality is especially important in hormone replacement therapy. As we age, our hormone levels go down and aren’t going to get any higher by themselves. A man in his early 30s will need a different formula than one in their 60s. Women have various reasons for low hormone levels. Rather than taking a medication produced for the “average” woman, the Apothēke pharmacists can mix a few ingredients and restore a woman’s hormone level.
“Apothēke offers consultation services and will collaborate with your physician to develop a customized therapy plan. It might have to be periodically adjusted, but that’s what the patient-pharmacist-doctor relationship is for,” says Meacham.
ree Vitamins, Free Delivery
The pharmacy will include a retail store with over-the-counter medicines such as vitamin supplements, allergy medicines, medical supplies, and first aid supplies. They will offer gifts, like licensed Golden Hurricane gear, kitschy chef aprons, and more. Local artists are welcome to display and sell their art, which will be rotated every couple of months.
Apothēke offers a free monthly supply of vitamins to children, seniors, and expectant mothers. Those interested can sign up for the program and will receive a month’s worth of free vitamins. Meacham is a strong advocate of education and partners with the Tulsa Public Schools.
“My dad has been a teacher at Lanier Elementary School for more than 20 years. Providing free vitamins is a simple way to educate the public and create a healthcare community. It’s just something I want to do,” says Meacham.
The pharmacy also provides free delivery.
He says, “It’s tough for some folks to get around unless they have family or additional support, so it’s something we can offer the community. It’s a small thing to us, but could mean the world to someone else.”
Apothēke will have a grand opening celebration in August. For more information, call 918-728-6420 or visit ApothekeRX.com. Most major insurance is accepted.