A Message From Alex May 2020

My daughter Tillie (Oswald’s 7th generation!) just turned 4 in April of 2020. It wasn’t quite like the celebrations for her 1st, 2nd, or 3rd birthdays, as this one was spent under ‘shelter-in-place’ orders. The ‘celebration’ mostly took place over FaceTime with family on my cell phone. We called my wife Jenna’s parents and let Tillie open their gifts. Then we called my parents and let her open those gifts. Not quite the in-person family gatherings young children are used to experiencing! Luckily, living blocks away from my parents, we took a wagon ride over in the afternoon to say hello and chat from a safe distance.

My 2-year-old, Arlo, doesn’t notice much of a change, as his routine has more-or-less stayed the same. My “big kid” 4-year old Daughter, on the other hand, notices a lot of change. Her Naperville Park District pre-school at Knoch Knolls Nature Center was abruptly canceled. She can’t visit any of her friends. She has learned to ‘keep distance’ from neighbors. Worst of all, she can’t snuggle and read books with her grandparents or great-grandparents. The routine of hers I miss the most is our Fridays.

COVID-19 Changing Our Daily Routines

Tillie and I used to go grocery shopping together as Arlo took a nap every Friday. After grocery shopping, we would stop at Oswald’s. She’s gotten to know most of the staff and loves wandering around taking it all in. I remember being a kid at Oswald’s when it was Downtown Naperville – the drugstore can be a pretty magical place when you’re a kid!

She often asks questions like: When can Vovoa and Pops (my parents) babysit me? When can I see my friends? When will the virus be over? When can we go to Oswald’s? Sadly, I don’t really have any good answers to those questions. So I thought I’d bring a small piece of Oswald’s to her…

If you don’t follow us on Facebook, we posted a video of Tillie opening some toys from Oswald’s in late April. Nothing too special: some Silly Putty and oversized novelty glasses. But to my 4-year-old they were pretty special! She spent the rest of the day with her Silly Putty. My wife and I kept a vigilant eye to make sure she didn’t get the Silly Putty stuck in the carpet, couch, or her hair.

The New Oswald’s Pharmacy Webshop

I recorded the video of Tillie to promote Ozzie’s new ‘webshop’ my brother Wil (or Winkle as Tillie calls him: Wil + Uncle = Winkle) and I are building on the Oswald’s Pharmacy website. Along with all the small changes Tillie has made, our community and the world have made some dramatic alterations over these past two months. I think most of us went from thinking “you’re wearing a facemask?!” to “where can I buy a facemask?!” among so many other big changes in our daily lives. One major change for us is the attitude towards in-store shopping at brick and mortars. Sure, pharmacies like Oswald’s and grocery stores like Casey’s are ‘essential’ – but shopping isn’t very fun right now. I’ve read this pandemic will only accelerate the trend toward online shopping we’ve experienced as a society since the dot com boom.

Do I think we can replace walking into Oswald’s to shop for a gift or greeting card with an online shopping experience? Absolutely not. When I hear a customer walk in during the holidays and mutter “Oh my lord, I never knew there was so much in here!” it warms my heart. But we need to keep our senior customers or those with compromised immune systems safe at home. We know a stronger online presence is necessary. We’ll always value the experience of seeing our customers in the store, browsing the aisles, finding the perfect gift, or discussing an over the counter medication with our pharmacists. We also know this won’t always be an option.

New Ways to Shop at Oswald’s

Over the past two months, we’ve created two new services that help us fulfill our commitment to serving our community. First, as I’ve mentioned, we’ve created the online store at oswaldspharmacy.com/shop. Secondly, if online shopping isn’t your thing, call us! We’ve created a special phone line at 630-812-7166 for our Personal Shop and Delivery Team. Our team members will walk around the store on a cordless phone and shop with you. We’ll ring it up over the phone and prepare it for local delivery or free curbside pickup!

As always, we still offer free prescription delivery. We’ve even extended our delivery days from just weekdays to the entire week. So no matter what day it is (and sometimes it’s hard keeping track when we’re all working from home!) know that Ozzie’s can bring any of our products right to your door, same day.

Here’s to hoping that during a Friday in the near future you’ll run into Tillie and me at Naperville Plaza. As we did before COVID-19, we’ll be together at Casey’s and Trader Joe’s. Then we’ll spend an hour or two at Oswald’s while I catch up on a few things and Tillie can pester Winkle and Pops. I hope you and your family are doing well right now. Things sure are strange, but it’s nice to live in a community like this. We’re all looking out for each other. If there’s anything my family’s business can help you with right now, don’t hesitate to reach out to me directly at alex@oswaldspharmacy.com

Stay safe, stay healthy, wash your hands, and, of course, support your local businesses!

Written by Alex Anderson

Alex is the current general manager at Oswald's Pharmacy. A 6th generation member of the Wickel-Oswald-Kester-Anderson family, Alex focuses on innovation and taking the business into the future. With 7 years of working for Whole Foods Market as a Marketing & Community Relations Specialist, Healthy Eating Specialist, and Private Events Coordinator, Alex has a unique perspective on big and small businesses. Alex is currently President of the Independent Medical Retailers group, an active volunteer in the Naperville Jaycees and member of the NCTV17 Marketing Committee. Alex graduated with a BA degree from Columbia College Chicago in 2009. Alex has spent most of his life in Naperville and Chicago. He currently lives in Naperville with his wife and 2 children (Oswald's 7th Generation!)