ALEXANDRIA, Va. (March 23, 2022) – The National Community Pharmacists Association is pleased to announce that Bell Pharmacy in Camden, N.J., has earned the 2022 NCPA Innovation Center Excellence Award for Best External Modification. This is the fifth year of the NICE Awards competition, which was created to recognize pharmacies for their efforts to enhance their value, promote their services, and better serve their communities. The NICE Awards are sponsored by RedSail Technologies, LLC.
“Congratulations to Bell Pharmacy for earning the NICE Award for Best External Modification,” says NCPA Innovation Center President Kurt Proctor. “The NICE Awards spotlight the best of community pharmacy branding and marketing – the innovations and redesigns that have made promotions more effective and patients’ experiences more rewarding. Bell Pharmacy did a remarkable job with their distinctive restorations that acknowledge history, connect it with the pharmacy’s present and the future, and attract patients.”
Bell Pharmacy opened in 1931 on the southwest corner of Haddon and Kaighn Ave. In the mid-1940s it was rebranded as a Rexall-authorized agent and continued under that banner through the Rexall company’s eventual closure.
Much has changed in the city during the pharmacy’s history, says Anthony “Tony” Minniti, who owns the pharmacy with his sister Marian Minniti Morton. One constant, however, has been the landmark building located at one of its most important and highly visible intersections. The unrest and ensuing riots of the late 1960s and ‘70s caused the pharmacy’s then-owners to cover the building’s marble facia with stucco. The ground floor’s plate glass windows were covered with cinderblock and plywood. The second-story windows were sealed up with sheets of corrugated steel. The building remained in this state until 2020, when Tony and Marian committed to restoring the building to its original grandeur.
The ground floor plate glass windows and second-story windows were restored. The original marble facia was beyond repair and was replaced with a sleek pewter exterior insulation finishing system. The iconic 1940s-era porcelain Rexall signs were cleaned, repaired, and remounted in their original locations. The second-story limestone was cleaned, repaired, and sealed. Period lighting was also added to second story to create a bright corner oasis. While the original Bell Rexall Drugs neon sign could not be replaced due to zoning restrictions, a newly fabricated replica was installed on the second story, around the center window.
The renovations were completed in May 2021, and were a “labor of love,” as Tony says. He and his family consider themselves stewards of the city and independent pharmacy. “Our mission is to see that this connection between past, present and future endures,” he says. “There are precious few places left where a great grandparent can visit ‘their’ place with their great grandchildren to show them the way it was; where they can enjoy the same experience in 2022 as they did in 1951.”
Tony and Marian purchased Bell Pharmacy in 1997. Its products and services include standard retail prescriptions; over-the-counter products; prescription refills and transfers; home delivery; Drugstore2Door delivery; LGBTQ concierge services; pet compounding; erectile dysfunction medication; medication adherence; medication synchronization; medication therapy management; pet prescriptions; and supplies for physicians’ offices.
Founded in 1898, the National Community Pharmacists Association is the voice for the community pharmacist, representing nearly 19,400 pharmacies that employ approximately 215,000 individuals nationwide. Community pharmacies are rooted in the communities where they are located and are among America’s most accessible health care providers. To learn more, visit www.ncpa.org.