We Ate, We Sang and We Supported at May’s Fancy Food Truck Friday.

 The joint was certainly jumping last Friday night and what fun it was! From sliders to cupcakes and everything in between, Altadena loosened their ties and rocked to the beat!

Chocolate dipped strawberry cupcake from My Delight Cupcakery

Chocolate dipped strawberry cupcake from My Delight Cupcakery

Yummy sliders from Me So Hungry!

Yummy sliders from Me So Hungry!

DF Getting Ready

Danny’s Farm Petting Zoo getting all set up for a fundraiser evening!

Danny’s Farm was on hand to introduce everyone to their latest family member: Hagrid the Miniature Horse!  Good friend, Penelope the Pig, entertained and squealed to her heart’s content!  Donations from Webster’s RX and Liquors are on the way from our special “Danny’s Farm Day” Fundraiser.

Hagrid The Miniature Horse

Hagrid The Miniature Horse

Penelope and Friends!

Penelope and Friends!

Our evening was made even better by the musical sounds of Pasadena McKinley School’s “McKinley Rock Stars”  We love this group of kids who are supported by a wonderful organization called “Little Kids Rock”.  With a little help from their friends, these youngsters are learning how to play guitar, drums and keyboard!  Thanks Mr. Rojas and Rock Stars for spreading the beat to Altadena!

McKinley Rock Stars played tunes by Taylor Swift, the Beatles and some of their own compositions!

McKinley Rock Stars played tunes by Taylor Swift, the Beatles and some of their own compositions!

Girl Power!

Girl Power!

Which Food Truck was your favorite this month?  Our parking lot was filled with the mouth-watering smells of Greenz On Wheelz, Ludo Truck, The Fry Girl, Bool BBQ, Me So Hungry and My Delight Cupcakery.  If the lines were any indication, everyone was enjoying everything!

Worth the wait!

Astro has his eyes on something!

Astro has his eyes on something!

Could it be the Tuna Melt from Greenz on Wheelz?

Could it be the Tuna Melt from Greenz on Wheelz?

Even the neighborhood dogs love FFTF!

We hope that you had as much fun as we did at May’s Fancy Food Truck Friday, and we leave you with this important quote:

Front end of My Delight Cupcakery Truck!

Front end of My Delight Cupcakery Truck!

Our next Fancy Food Truck Friday is June 14!  Follow us to find out who’s coming!

Keeping Tradition Alive In Altadena

Front cover WCPShopping local doesn’t equate to shopping at a big box chain centered in communities such our beloved Altadena. Shopping local means that a community supports their local small businesses. Webster’s Community Pharmacy has been a firm long-standing supporter of its customers since 1926. Current owners Michael and Meredith Miller have continued the legacy of this establishment while bringing in fresh ideas, building on personal relationships with their customers, providing a family-friendly work environment for their employees and much more.

From our wildly popular Fancy Food Truck Fridays to our Holiday Open House and special engagements, every event we produce is tailored to the heart of our community. We love spending time with our customers! Our staff is fully committed to making sure each customer feels like they are part of the family. Unlike big box stores who rely heavily on databases to look up customers’ names, our staff knows most customers by first name as well their history.

At Webster’s Community Pharmacy we know that this slice of Altadena pie enjoys the Mayberry touch. That’s why we provide Delivery Service to our customers’ homes or place of business within Altadena. We also accept most prescription plans while charging the same amount for them as big box chains, and have them ready in less than 10 minutes.

This nod to nostalgia is mixed with current social media trends including other time proven means of communication. Custom-made newsletters with store news and information are published monthly. Meredith Miller is the voice of our store’s Facebook Page sharing daily store news, pharmaceutical related information and community stories. Stop by our page to say hello to Meredith, she will happily respond. You can also find us on Yelp, Twitter, Instagram and other popular social media platforms.

Support local this year as we continue to develop new ways to better serve our community. We look forward to serving you soon!

Halloweekend Party Presented by Altadena Chamber of Commerce

The Altadena Chamber of Commerce is hosting a Halloweekend Party that’s sure to be a spooky treat for all! On Saturday, October 27th, little goblins, witches, and ghouls will be able to trick-or-treat at local shops located along North Lake and Mairposa. Candies and treats are not all that these shops have to offer, there also great deals to grab! You’ll have to visit each participating store to find out more about this tasty morsel.

Trick-Or-Treat Hours:
12:00PM to 4:00PM

Ghostly Shops:

  • Webster’s Community
  • Pharmacy Steve’s Pets
  • Webster’s Liquor
  • Altadena Hardware
  • Webster’s Stationers
  • Lindsey’s Liquors
  • California PropertySolvers
  • Merit Cleaners
  • Ms. Dragon Print & Copy
  • El Patron
  • Steve’s Bike Shop

Fancy Food Truck Friday Celebrates Penelope The Pig’s First Birthday!

The adorable pig Penelope (from Danny’s Farm Mobile Petting Zoo) will be celebrating her first birthday at Fancy Food Truck Friday, August 10. Join us for fun activities and fabulous noshes at Webster’s Parking Lot in Altadena. All are encouraged to help us blow out her candle at 7:30 PM for the official “cake” cutting.

This bash would not be complete without some of the most tastiest food trucks in town! Nibble your way through:

  • The Grilled Cheese Truck
  • No Tomatoes
  • Fresh Fries
  • Rounds Burgers
  • The Bun Truck
  • A Rockin’ Ice

As usual, plenty of seating will be available for all. Hope to see you there!

Getting to know your Altadena neighborhood pharmacist, Michael Miller.

Michael Miller, Owner and Pharmacist at Webster's Community Pharmacy in Altadena.

Altadena has long been the home of the iconic Webster’s Community Pharmacy. This neighborhood establishment was highly attractive to owners Michael and Meredith Miller who had previously owned the successful Fair Oaks Pharmacy & Soda Fountain in South Pasadena. “Having been in the community almost 20 years, and having brought back that historical establishment to be a very successful business, I thought it would be a natural calling to do something at Webster’s. They are also an iconic fixture in the community and we had a strong desire to bring in new and fresh ideas.”

Pharmacist Michael Miller comes from a long line of health care providers, which has influenced his passion for medicine and patient well-being. The shortage in pharmacists during the time when he graduated from college propelled him to pursue a career in that field. Since receiving his license in the mid 1970’s, Michael has taken his calling to help his community by providing them with the best possible health care. “We pride ourselves in knowing who our customers are, and caring about their protocols.” The Millers have taken action behind their words with the recent installation of a state-of-the-art robotic prescription dispensing system. This cutting-edge technology safeguards against any errors that can potentially happen at the daily level.

Among the many unique amenities that patrons can find at the new Webster’s Community Pharmacy, is a custom delivery service. “We pride ourselves in superior service. Being able to offer local deliveries to our customers’ home or office is a good option for those who need or want that type of courtesy. It’s unique because no chains offer this type of delivery service.” Part of doing things differently includes the option of paying for prescriptions and other items through the nostalgic charge accounts of yesteryear. “It’s something that is almost unheard of, but our customers enjoy that convenience. We have more flexibility than the corporate big box stores.”

At a time when everything has been streamlined to the point of losing quality service when shopping, it’s comforting to know that there are community independent pharmacies that still go that extra mile. Michael’s drive and passion is evident in the type of benefits his customers are now coming to expect from Webster’s Community Pharmacy. “We look forward to working in this new environment. Helping our customers get the best health care is our top priority. I’m always available for questions, too. Our patrons know that they don’t have to climb the corporate ladder to get answers. The buck stops with me.”

Independent drugstores rank high in survey of Consumer Reports.


 Independent drugstores rank high in survey of Consumer Reports readers

(NATI HARNIK/ ASSOCIATED PRESS) – Although may chain stores have removed their online price-checker feature, people facing large out-of-pocket drug bills may want to shop around for the best deals.

    Calk one up for the little guy. Consumer Reports’ latest drugstore study affirms that the top-rated walk-in stores are neighborhood independents, not giant chains such as Walgreens and CVS.

    Of CR readers who shopped at independent drugstores and participated in the survey, the vast majority were highly satisfied with their experiences. Included in the “independent” group were The Medicine Shoppe and Health Mart, chains that are individually owned and operated. Independents made fewer errors, offered swifter service and were much more likely to have medications ready for pickup when promised than traditional chain, supermarket and big-box-store pharmacies, the survey found.

    People who filled their prescriptions at independent stores also praised the pharmacists’ accessibility and personal service, and encountered fewer delays and medication mix-ups than those who shopped elsewhere.

    These findings are based on the responses of more than 40,000 Consumer Reports readers; while that’s a large number, the respondents were not selected at random and therefore their views are not necessarily representative of all consumers.

    One of the most disturbing findings is that so few people are talking to their druggists about dosing, interactions or medical conditions. Less than half the respondents had a conversation with their pharmacist about their prescription drugs; only a small number discussed over-the-counter medicines.

    If you’re seeking answers on the Internet rather than from a health-care professional, you’re “swimming in shark-infested waters,” warns physician John Santa, director of the Consumer Reports Health Ratings Center. “Brand drugmakers have so much money and are so smart that it is very difficult to find information online that they do not influence heavily,” he says. “In my mind, unless you are very careful and already well informed, you should assume that whatever you read on the Internet is coming from a drug company.”

    Other results:

    – Problems are common. Almost half the readers participating in the survey had at least one problem during a total of about 54,000 drugstore visits. Top gripes: Medicine was out of stock, counter service was slow and the order wasn’t ready when promised.

    – On-time delivery improves. Overall, drugstores have gotten better at delivering prescriptions when promised. That’s especially good news because nearly half the respondents said the ability to get in and out quickly with medicine in hand was an important consideration in choosing a drugstore, compared with a much smaller number in the survey Consumer Reports conducted in 2002.

    – It pays to shop around. If you have large out-of-pocket costs, it’s wise to do some comparison shopping. That might require phone calls, because many chains (Costco is an exception) have removed their online price-checker feature.

    – Discounts and freebies are available. Some stores offer free diabetes drugs and 14-day supplies of certain generic antibiotics, along with low-priced generic prescription drugs (for example, a 30-day supply for $4 or three months’ worth for about $10) and discounted immunizations for flu, measles, chickenpox, tetanus, pneumonia, hepatitis, HPV and other conditions. (Pharmacists in all 50 states are now permitted to inoculate.)

    Many chains, including CVS, Walgreens and Wal-Mart, have walk-in clinics offering services such as inexpensive physicals for school sports, pregnancy tests and treatment for ailments such as bladder infections, poison ivy and pinkeye.

    – The Internet can be hazardous. Though there are credible online pharmacies, such as those affiliated with physical stores (CVS.com, for example), most are shady. That’s the conclusion of the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy, which accredits online drugstores. Of the more than 7,000 online drugstores whose practices the NABP has reviewed, only about 3.5 percent appear to be legitimate. The rest sell foreign or non-FDA-approved drugs, don’t require a valid prescription, lack a physical address or otherwise fail to meet the NABP’s standards.

    “We still have big concerns about rogue sites,” says Ilisa Bernstein, a deputy director in the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Roughly 36 million Americans have bought medications online without a valid prescription.

    – E-prescribing isn’t used enough. With almost 4 billion prescriptions dispensed annually, there’s ample opportunity for wrong dosing instructions, missed drug interactions, patient allergies and errors due to illegible handwriting. If more doctors sent prescriptions electronically to drugstore computer systems, which have access to patients’ medical histories, the error rate would drop and doctors would spend less time clearing up confusion.

    Copyright 2011. Consumers Union of United States Inc.

    A recent Washington Post poll has determined that independent pharmacies rank high in overall customer service.  In general, independent pharmacists are more accessible, more likely to counsel patients and keep excellent prescription records.  This survey was conducted among a sampling of Consumer Reports readers. At Webster’s Community Pharmacy, we value every patient’s health and trust in our services.  Michael Miller, our Pharmacist-In-Charge has been practicing for over 30 years.  He is always available to offer advice, counsel on medications and lend a supporting ear whenever necessary. If you have any questions about your medications, OTC items or other concerns, please give us a call at 626-797-1163.

    This Makes Sense…And it’s Easy to Follow!

    The first lady, Michelle Obama, on Thursday relegated the government’s well-known food pyramid to the sands of history, unveiling a new, simpler image of a plate divided into basic food groups.

    The new design, called MyPlate, was conceived as a crucial part of Mrs. Obama’s campaign against obesity designed to remind consumers about the basics of a healthful diet.

    The plate is split into four sections, for fruit, vegetables, grains and protein.  A smaller circle sits beside it for dairy products.

    Mrs. Obama, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Dr. Regina M. Benjamin, the surgeon general, unveiled the new healthful eating icon at a news conference in Washington.

    “This is a quick, simple reminder for all of us to be more mindful of the foods that we’re eating,” Mrs. Obama said.  “We’re all bombarded with so many dietary messages that it’s hard to find time to sort through all this information, but we do have time to take a look at our kids’ plates.”

    If the filled plate looks like the symbol, with lots of fruits and vegetables, she said, “then we’re good, it’s as simple as that.”

    Nutritionists often criticized the food pyramid, which was first advanced in 1992, or being misleading or hard to understand.  Some gave the plate cautious praise on Thursday.

    “Americans aren’t used to eating this way, so this is a big change,” Dr. Nestle said.

    The plate was created by the Agriculture Department with advice from the first lady’s anti-obesity team and federal health officials.  The Agriculture Department said that it had conducted focus groups with about 4,500 people, including children, as it developed the plate.

    The project, with the Web site and related educational materials, cost about $2 million.  That money will also help pay for an educational campaign about the plate over the next year, officials said.


    Webster’s is Adding a Full-Service Coffee Bar!!

    I attended the Altadena Chamber’s presentation of the recent shopping survey last week.  It reinforced some assumptions that I made when we first purchased Webster’s Community Pharmacy last December.  Of those polled, most would like to see a Trader Joe’s  in the neighborhood.  Many people feel that they have to shop out of the area for their goods and services (not true),  and a local coffee bar would be a great addition to the area.  Well, now is a great time to announce that we are planning to add a full-service coffee bar into Webster’s Community Pharmacy!  

    While we don’t have many details yet, we are in the preliminary phase of planning/permitting for a remodel that will refresh and diversify Webster’s RX for years to come.  New walls, new floors, new ceiling and a fabulous coffee component that will include lattes and cappuccinos, tea selections, pastries and more.   We will cultivate local vendors to make this a real community project.

    As part of our development process, we would love to hear from you.  Which local coffee companies would you like to see here, do you have a favorite local bakery?  What ideas do you have for putting a personal Altadena stamp on this venture?

    At the risk of abusing this cliché, … it’s time to wake up and smell the coffee!