A Message From Alex July 2023

Last month on June 8th Oswald’s expanded to a second location for the first time since 1875! Well not entirely the first time, but we’ll get to that later. I purchased Riley’s Medical Equipment & Supplies from my friend (and previous independent drug store owner) Tim Riley. We’re keeping ‘Riley’ in the name for now, as it’s familiar in Geneva, but it’s now part of ‘Oswald’s Medical’.

Oswald’s Medical Equipment Expands to Geneva

Riley’s Drugs opened its doors in Geneva in 1967, by Tim’s Dad, Jim Riley. The pharmacy relocated to its current location (415 W State Street, Geneva) in 1972. Tim took ownership from his Dad in 1999. Tim knew my Dad Bill well, as the independent drugstore community is quite small, and they went to the same drug wholesale trade shows around the country.

Tim closed the pharmacy in January 2021. He remodeled the building and converted the pharmacy into a medical equipment store—similar to Oswald’s medical equipment showroom in Naperville. As he was looking to retire, we’ve been discussing this purchase for a few years, and the stars finally aligned. We couldn’t be more excited to continue Tim’s excellent service in Geneva.

Working at the new store the last few weeks, I’ve had plenty of old-time Riley’s Drugs customers asking me to open an independent pharmacy again. I guess CVS isn’t quite cutting it service-wise for Geneva? Perhaps in time, we’ll look into that! But the customers I’ve spoken with have been so kind and grateful the business will remain open, independently owned.

Oswald’s Historical Expansions

When it comes to a ‘first’ for a second location, technically my great-great-grandfather Louis Oswald opened the Naperville General Store next door to Oswald’s in 1924. He sold it a few years later to focus on the pharmacy during the Depression. Then in 1964, my great-grandfather Harold (“Pampy”) Kester opened Paperback Paradise above the original pharmacy location in downtown Naperville. That eventually became Anderson’s bookshop! 

So we’ll say this is the first time we’ve carried my great-great-grandfather, Louis Oswald’s last name to a second location? With 6 generations there’s a lot of history! However you look at it, I’m very excited to bring our team to Geneva to continue the excellent service Tim and his Father have provided for the previous 56 years.

As you’ll read below, our head pharmacist Falak and I just returned from Las Vegas for the McKesson trade show (the same one Tim and my Dad used to meet up at!) We talked with industry peers, sat in continuing education classes, and learned some new exciting practices to integrate into our pharmacy to better serve you. Did I play any slots? You know what they say—what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. But I sure learned a lot!

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!)