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Two new businesses receive ribbon-tying ceremonies from Dowagiac chamber

DOWAGIAC — After opening during the early stages of the pandemic last year, two Dowagiac businesses were finally able to celebrate with the community.

Wednesday, the Greater Dowagiac Chamber of Commerce hosted ribbon tying ceremonies for Oh My Old Made New, 206. S. Front St., and Dowagiac Pharmacy, 124 S. Front St., to officially welcome the businesses to the community.

Dowagiac Pharmacy and Oh My opened their doors in February and March of last year, but ribbon-cutting ceremonies were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The heart and soul of every community is its downtown,” said Dowagiac Mayor Don Lyons, who was on hand for both ceremonies. “If you do not have a vibrant, healthy downtown, you do not have a vibrant, healthy community. It’s the entrepreneurs, the people who invest in their stores and their merchandise. They’ve made it a passion, and almost a home. This is our way of saying, ‘Thank you for being here. Thank you for investing in the community, and we wish you all the best.’”

Oh My is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. The store sells candles, clothing, home decor, purses and repurposed furniture. While the 206 S. Front St. space is a new experience for owner Dawn Schlipp, she is no stranger to operating a storefront in downtown Dowagiac.

Schlipp first opened Oh My Old Made New Boutique in 2009 next door to her current location. She owned and operated the business for more than six years before closing due to personal health. Not only has she moved to a new location, but she is also in the process of opening a second location in Sister Lakes. The Sister Lakes store, located in JD’s Marina at 50663 M-152, Dowagiac, will sell suits, furniture, jewelry and beach items such as sunscreen and will remain open during the summer months.

A year after settling in, Schlipp is happy to be serving the Dowagiac community again.

“I know a lot of people here,” she said. “It’s a friendly town. I love all the buildings. I just like it here.”

Dowagiac Pharmacy owner Bhavesh Patel and pharmacist Jay Patel have been faithfully serving the community for more than one year. The full-service retail pharmacy is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays. It offers a wide variety of products and services including prescription refills, pet prescriptions, vitamins, a full line of over-the-counter medicines, diabetic and first-aid supplies and more. It accepts most insurance, including Medicaid/Medicare and Meridian.

The pharmacy also has a delivery service where it can deliver products to customers in the area not able to visit themselves.

“We’re truly grateful to be a part of the Dowagiac community,” Jay said. “You can count on us for your healthcare needs. If you need any prescriptions to be transferred, have pricing questions or anything, please let us know. On behalf of Dowagiac Pharmacy, I am truly thankful for taking your time to celebrate this event with us.”

Mayor Lyons believes the pharmacy is an important asset to the community.

“This is something that we’ve talked about literally for years,” he said. “This, to us, is one of the incredibly important businesses that we’re going to have in our downtown. It serves the people who live here as well as the people in the neighborhood. We have a pharmacy, we have restaurants and we have a grocery store. Those are all critical elements of the success of any downtown, so we thank you for being here.”

According to Bhavesh, the Dowagiac Pharmacy was a goal years in the making.

“We had been looking into a pharmacy in Dowagiac two to three years prior to opening,” Bhavesh said. “We decided on downtown because it’s a place where you can grow. The customers are happy. We have great service and a great pharmacist in Jay.”

Bhavesh believes that the customer service provided by the pharmacy sets it apart from its chain-store competitors.

“We talk to the customer right there,” Bhavesh said. “In a chain store, customers may have a hard time talking to the pharmacy, but we know customers personally. If they have a concern about their medication, they may be a little shy at the chain store but are very open to talking about their needs at an independent pharmacy like this. Plus, we have a free delivery service. For seniors who can’t leave their homes, we take their goods to them. It’s just a more personal touch.”

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