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Loyal customers make Howard Lake Drug successful

John and Marilyn Ringold have owned Howard Lake Drug for 36 years, and its success is attributed to their loyal customers, according to Marilyn.

Since the store opened in 1917, there have only been two sets of owners prior to the Ringolds. Wesley A. Scheer and Richard E. Bushey owned Howard Lake Drug from 1917 to 1948, when it was purchased by Bob and Ruth Rekedal, who owned it until 1978.

Generations of families have been served by Howard Lake Drug over the years. The Ringolds have enjoyed watching customers grow from children to adults and have children of their own who then become customers, Marilyn said.

When community members shop local, they keep the money in town, and allow the businesses to continue to serve them, and it helps the community stay successful, Marilyn noted.

“One of the biggest things we experience is local customers who doctor in the Twin Cities, but drive back here, passing numerous pharmacies on the way, to fill their prescriptions,” John said.

Howard Lake Drug offers everything a modern, chain pharmacy offers, along with its old-fashioned, small-town, corner pharmacy feel.

Howard Lake Drug carries durable medical equipment and Dr. Comfort shoes for Medicare patients, fully computerized prescription services, and over-the-counter medicines for all sorts of ailments.

The gift section at Howard Lake Drug contains a variety of gifts for every occasion, including scarves, frames, crystal figurines, candles, children’s books, and books from local authors. Also, they are the only store within a 10-mile radius, that carries Hallmark cards.

They have collectibles ranging from Precious Moments to Christian gifts and jewelry.

The store has a copy machine for customer use, and carries office supplies.

Dry cleaning pick up and drop off is available at Howard Lake Drug through Buffalo Cleaners.

The store offers malts, shakes, cones, and the famous “Mud Ball Sundae” at the soda fountain area, along with a perfect spot to hang-out, Marilyn commented.

While hanging out, one may look at the history of Howard Lake Drug, which lines the walls and top shelves of the store.

Being a part of the town’s history is one of the best parts of owning the pharmacy, according to Marilyn.

“It’s rewarding to be a part of this community, and to be providing a service that people need,” Marilyn said.

The Ringolds are currently looking for a buyer for Howard Lake Drug, who can keep the tradition alive, Marilyn noted.

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