A Message from Alex September 2021

Last year we updated our logo and ’mission statement’ to celebrate our 145th year in business and to visually communicate how diverse our offerings truly are. Sometimes we joke we run 6 stores in 1: a full-service pharmacy, gifts & greeting cards, a United States Post Office (some say the best-kept secret in town, shhhhh), a medical equipment showroom, a laboratory, and a toy store!

Part of the mission statement we created speaks about tending to the health of your spirits, as well as your body. First and foremost as a full-service pharmacy, we take the health of you and your family very seriously. That’s why our customers know the level of care we provide far exceeds that of a chain pharmacy. But when it comes to the health of your spirits? We’ve got you covered there as well!

Personalized Service at Independent Pharmacies

What exactly does that mean to me, as the 6th generation owner? Growing up in the pharmacy, I knew it was a special place that was so much more than just a location to pick up your prescriptions. We know that health doesn’t stop at just medicine or physical health. It’s also the mental well-being of you and your family. This has been especially true during these past 18 months.

Visiting an independently owned business like Oswald’s is always a treat because it’s stepping into a business that’s inspired and developed from the very community it serves. It’s not a selection of items picked out by algorithms from national chains. Why do we carry so many puzzles? Because my dad Bill (5th generation owner) is a puzzle fanatic! Along with his passion for puzzles, our customer feedback was always positive, and our selection kept growing. “Nowhere else in town can I find this many puzzles to browse in person!”

Oswald's Puzzle blog image. Photo of Bill Anderson putting a jigsaw puzzle together with his grandson.
5th Generation Oswald’s Owner Bill Anderson putting a jigsaw puzzle together with his grandson, Arlo.

A Prescription for Puzzles

Looking back to ‘lockdown’ in March and April of last year, we were proud to continue offering free prescription delivery 7 days a week, as well as a new service we’ve all become accustomed to–curbside pickup. What was fun to see during those troubling times was the number of prescriptions going out with a ‘treat’. Items like vintage candy bars, a greeting card to send to a loved one, a kids board game for the whole family to play, or most often – a puzzle!

Right before COVID-19 upended everyone’s world, we held our first ‘National Puzzle Month’ sale in January. 20% off all puzzles, kids and adult styles alike. As puzzles stayed popular through the spring and summer, we thought we’d head into fall with another 20% off sale last September. It was so popular, I’ve had multiple customers ask me if we’re going to do it again. We sure are!

In the Reader’s Digest articleᵃ Here’s Why Jigsaw Puzzles are Good for Your Brain Susan Vandermorris, a clinical neuropsychologist at Toronto’s Baycrest Health Sciences says “If you’re doing a puzzle, you are, by definition, disconnected and engaged in a task that’s immersive, away from the interruptions and stresses of day-to-day life. And that, of course, is good for your brain.”

The article continues: “Vandermorris believes that doing puzzles with others boasts even more health benefits than doing them on your own, adding that it provides a rare opportunity for intergenerational engagement. “Get the teenagers off their smartphones and working on a puzzle with Grandma, and suddenly you’ve got a really nice family interaction that seems to be harder and harder to come by these days.” Doesn’t that sound nice? The example in that article is similar to a lot of the feedback about puzzles we hear from our customers.

Hundreds of Unique Jigsaw Puzzles In-Store

Next time you’re at the pharmacy, swing by our puzzle selection, located right next to our United States Post Office. Whether you’re a seasoned jigsaw puzzle veteran or looking to test the waters, we’re sure you’ll find a perfect puzzle!

While some may question why a pharmacy is selling so many puzzles, I think our focus on taking care of our customer’s well-being both physically and mentally, easily answers the question! Stay sharp, exercise your brain, and connect with your family over a jigsaw puzzle this fall. As the weather cools down, puzzles are an indoor activity with many rewards. I’ll see that firsthand when we visit my parents this weekend and my 3 and 5-year-old will help my Dad (“Pops”) on whatever puzzle he’s currently working on.

Written by Alex Anderson

Alex is the current owner of 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 a co-founder and board member of the Independent Medical Retailers group. 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 Aurora, Il with his wife and 2 children (Oswald's 7th Generation!)