Raleigh, N.C. — Since 1907, the family-owned Hamlin Drug Company has been a fixture on East Hargett Street in Raleigh.
It is the oldest pharmacy in the city and the oldest black-owned pharmacy in the state.
For more than half of its history, John Mitchell Johnson has operated the store.
“It’s a matter of helping, helping others in ways large and small,” Johnson said about his work.
Johnson prides himself on service to the community and traditional hospitality. He believes those things have kept the business going, even during the turbulent years of racial discrimination and political unrest.
Now, Johnson is modernizing the pharmacy to keep up with the recent resurgence in downtown Raleigh. The pharmacy has added a robotic dispensing system and will soon start renovations on store.
“At one time, there were four chains just a block and half from us. We like to think we put them all out of business except one,” Johnson said. “We’re still standing.”
WRAL-TV celebrates Black History Month with Living the Legacy. This month-long campaign spotlights the accomplishments of local individuals who are living the legacy of their ancestry and great African-American leaders.