PAXTON, Ill. (WCIA) — “I kind of grew up around the pharmacy, taking out the trash and things like that,” Andy Hudson said.

Andy Hudson is a third generation pharmacist and the owner of Hudson Drug Shop in Paxton, a role his grandfather and dad held before him.

“I decided to go to pharmacy school and I was never pressured into it or anything, thought about some other careers, but pharmacy just kind of seemed like a fit for me,” Hudson said.

That’s when Hudson decided it was his turn. His grandfather opened the shop up shortly after World War II, before handing ownership off to his dad. Since then, the business has been a staple in the community. 

Hudson worked at the shop for seven years before becoming the owner.

“You take a lot of pride in that and you hope to see it going as long as possible,” Hudson said.

An indelible name that will forever be a part of Hudson and his family’s history. Hudson’s cousins and uncles also work in the pharmacy industry.

“A pharmacy or pharmacist is someone that does more than just count pills, and their role is definitely evolved over the years,” Hudson said.

Something he emphasizes in his own shop.

“It’s being put in that situation where you can help people, and there’s a lot of different ways you can help people, sometimes to me it’s just something simple, maybe you’re closed after hours, you filling an antibiotic for their child or something to that nature,” Hudson said.

He also says the conversations he has with his patients are special.

“A business, a pharmacy business is almost like another child, so when someone gives it a compliment, it makes you feel good inside because you’re doing something right,” Hudson said.

Hudson says every day there are new challenges, but that’s what excites him the most.

“We’re able to kind of have our niche in the marketplace, that we’re different than the big box stores,” Hudson said.

“They might see their doctor, 2, 3 maybe 4 times a year, they’re often in here once a month, twice a month, so they have that opportunity to ask questions about their healthcare that other providers don’t have the same accessibility,” Hudson said.

But Hudson is more than just a pharmacist.

“Preserving the history of the business is important to me and like a lot of stories about, that I wasn’t present for, but I heard from my dad, my grandfather from other even the other owner before my grandfather in the 20s,” Hudson said.

He’s preserving that history in the form of a book. Now, he’s an author.

“I kind of just like to be one of the staff, I don’t really feel like I have a big ego that I have to be called a certain title or anything like that,” Hudson said.