Talking Shop with Lee Schlitt of Broadway Prescription Shop

Monday, September 12, 2011
LAURA SIMON ~ lsimon@semissourian.com

After more than a decade in the banking business, Lee Schlitt of Cape Girardeau is now a small-business owner after teaming up with friend and pharmacist Kevin Wood to buy Broadway Prescription Shop. Schlitt says he enjoys giving back to a community that has given him so much over the years and he's looking forward to seeing what the future holds for downtown Cape Girardeau.

Q: After spending several years in banking, what motivated you to make a major career change and get into the pharmacy business earlier this year?

A: I never thought of myself as an entrepreneur, mostly because by nature, like most bankers, I'm not a risk taker. The motivation began when a friend and pharmacist, Kevin Wood, said he wanted to own his own pharmacy but needed some help with the management and marketing of the business. It took a little convincing and a lot of research before I considered forming a partnership. When I realized my strengths would fit perfectly, I jumped in. After about a year of searching we found a pharmacy in Denver and were in negotiations to buy when the opportunity to purchase Broadway presented itself. Being that Kevin and I both graduated high school and college in the area, we jumped at the opportunity to stay in Cape and especially in downtown, which is so rich in history.

Q: Broadway Prescription Shop has a long history in Cape Girardeau, dating back to 1932. Tell us about its past and your plans for its future.

A: Broadway Prescription Shop is the oldest pharmacy in Cape Girardeau. Homer George opened the pharmacy in 1932 and passed it down to his two sons, Milton and Harry. In total, the Georges owned Broadway for 75 years. It's great to have that type of history in a business, especially one that has provided excellent service to the community. Broadway has a legacy and reputation of integrity and responsibility. And a lot of great stories. As we usher in our 80th year, we make a pledge to continue to provide the best service. As the future of health care changes, we're adapting and staying on the cutting edge, offering new products and services to best care for our patients.

Q: Describe what a typical day at work is like for you.

A: Like most small-business owners I get pulled in many directions during a day. It gets interesting when you're the management, marketing, business development and merchandising departments. I now truly understand the meaning of wearing several hats. I try to stay focused and keep everything moving in the right direction. It wouldn't happen if I didn't have a knowledgeable, hardworking staff to depend on.

Q: What is the most challenging part of your job? What's the most rewarding?

A: Health care regulations and insurance companies provide constant challenges. Whether it's paperwork or oversight, it is difficult to keep up with the ever-changing rules and regulations. On the other hand, I feel rewarded knowing we provide much needed services to the community. For example, we provide free delivery service to patients who have difficulty picking up their prescriptions. Likewise, we also offer a multidose medication package which allows customers to have their medications prepackaged by day and time. This system allows patients to care for others and themselves better. At Broadway Prescription Shop we are constantly trying to find new ways to increase the quality of life for our customers.

Q: You grew up here in Cape Girardeau, attended college here, and over the years have been involved with several community organizations including United Way of Southeast Missouri, Old Town Cape and the Cape Girardeau Area Chamber of Commerce. Why is giving back to the community important to you?

A: Giving back to Cape Girardeau was a great motivator when deciding to purchase Broadway Prescription Shop. Cape is my hometown and I enjoy giving back to a community that has given so much to me, especially as part of historic downtown. Being a small-business owner in the area provides a wonderful opportunity to give back -- both financially and through volunteering time and services.

Q: As a Broadway business owner, are you excited about the $3.5 million redesign of the street scheduled to start next month? Describe your vision for the future of Broadway.

A: As a longtime Cape resident, Old Town Cape board member and now Broadway Prescription shop owner, it's thrilling to see revitalization of the downtown area. A restored downtown reminds community members of Cape Girardeau's rich history and culture. A history and culture of which we can all be very proud. Additionally, my vision for the future of Broadway is a vibrant street full of diverse, thriving businesses and proud, eager customers -- eager to enjoy the great things that Cape's downtown has to offer.

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