Goltz Pharmacy has been in the same location in downtown Winona since its opening 125 years ago. The business has remained in the Goltz family for the entire 125 years, resulting in not only a business run by several generations of family members, but a multi-generational customer base, as well. The pharmacy has served families in which the grandparents, the parents, and the children all come to the store, said Dan Goltz, pharmacist and co-owner of the store.
Photo courtesy of Winona County Historical Society Archives
An inside look at Goltz Pharmacy shortly after it first opened.
“Ultimately I think people trust us, otherwise people wouldn’t keep coming back,” Goltz said.
Three generations of brothers have been involved in the business, many of them becoming pharmacists as well. Dan Goltz told the story of the exact moment whe he was a child, that he decided he wanted to be a pharmacist. He was having Christmas dinner at his grandfather Franklin Goltz’s house when the phone rang. Franklin Goltz explained that he needed to go back to work briefly. Dan asked his grandfather why he was going back in, to which Franklin replied that somebody needed medicine.
“He didn’t give it a second thought. He cared about these people, and it was his professionalism and his dedication to the people who trusted him that I thought was such a neat thing,” Goltz explained. “I decided then to be a pharmacist.”
Oddly enough, soon after Dan Goltz graduated from pharmacy school, he, too, received a call in the middle of his Christmas dinner, from someone who needed medicine. Initially he was disheartened about leaving his family, but quickly remembered that this was his reason for becoming a pharmacist — to take care of people.
Goltz history to present
Goltz Pharmacy opened in 1888 as a compounding pharmacy. In 1887, Max A. Goltz had returned to Winona, the town in which he had been raised since the age of three to open a pharmacy. Goltz, who graduated from the University of Chicago’s School of Pharmacy in the class of 1886-1887, ran Goltz Pharmacy until his death in1939, and his sons Newton and Franklin took over. Franklin’s sons, Neil and Franklyn Jr. subsequently ran the business next, followed by Franklyn Jr.’s sons and current owners, Dan and Paul Goltz.
The pharmaceutical industry has changed and grown a lot over the last 125 years, and Goltz Pharmacy has adapted as needed along the way.
“Great-grandfather [Max] had to go out and collect all the weeds, and the seeds, and the botanicals,” Goltz said, to make his own medicinal compounds.
Manufacturing of medications began later on, after which pharmacies then focused on the distribution of those medications, Goltz explained. According to an article in the Winona Daily News published on November 4, 1979, Goltz Pharmacy was presented with a plaque for filling their 2 millionth prescription.
Over the years, Goltz Pharmacy has kept up with the latest technology; it was one of the first pharmacies in the state of Minnesota to computerize its database and record keeping. The pharmacy also has a robotic filling machine, which counts pills, puts them into bottles, and prepares the prescriptions for the pharmacist’s inspection, Goltz noted. Prescriptions may now be reordered online as well.
The changes at the pharmacy aren’t only technological; customers are the heart of Goltz Pharmacy. The pharmacy has developed a new service called "medication therapy management." This service allows customers to make an appointment with a pharmacist to sit down for 15 to 30 minutes and go through their medication lists, Goltz explained. The pharmacist will look at a customer’s database, and make sure the customer knows what he or she is taking, how drugs may interact, and what side effects he or she may encounter.
“It’s about helping people get the most out of their medicine,” Goltz said.
Goltz’s newest goal is focused on more immediate personal service for customers. The effort is to make sure each no pharmacy customer leaves the store without speaking with a pharmacist to discuss any questions or concerns, Goltz explained.
“Medications are expensive and there’s no reason to be taking them if they’re not being used properly or getting the desired benefit from them,” Goltz said.
Goltz Pharmacy will begin its week long 125 Anniversary celebration on Monday, September 30. On Saturday, October 4, Goltz Pharmacy will hold a 125th Anniversary open house from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.