New Pharmacy Fills Old-Fashioned Need

Phil Hein’s story resembles many Westporters’.

He and his wife Karen lived in New York. They had a baby, then moved to the suburbs. He worked for a big company. He’d get home late, mentally spent. He’d hang out with his kids, get up in the morning, and do it all again.

After 25 years — sitting in a boardroom, working on his computer, sitting in traffic on the Merritt Parkway — he thought to himself, “I have to do more.”

Hein recalled the active lifestyle he’d had when he was younger (including a stint as a Colorado ski bum). A couple of years ago, he said: “I will do more.”

Then — unlike many suburbanites — he made a radical move.

Phil and Karen Hein.

Phil and Karen Hein.

Hein spent the first half of 2016 figuring out what to do. He talked to as many people as he could, from franchisees to small business owners. He explored different ideas.

A friend who owned a pharmacy outside Washington, DC seemed very happy. He enjoyed his work; he knew everyone in the community; customers brought him presents.

Hein — who had a background in retail, and by then had moved from Westport to Weston — had an “aha!” moment. What our towns need, he thought, was an old-fashioned pharmacy: a place where people could hang out, buy what they needed, and feel both embraced and educated in the process.

But he added a modern twist to the figurative pot-bellied stove. He wanted natural options, to enhance the store’s “natural” feeling.

Which is exactly what you’ll find, in the newly opened Shoreline Pharmacy.

shoreline-logoIt’s not exactly on the shore — in fact, it’s on the Post Road next to Shake Shack and Fjord Fisheries, across from Home Goods near the Southport line — but Hein has tried to create a “beach” vibe inside.

It’s bright, inviting, feel-good, with natural wood shelving. Comfortable sofas invite lounging. Surf and reggae music plays.

There’s a conventional pharmacy. But Hein’s philosophy of integrative medicine includes wellness and lifestyle. So he stocked his store with natural supplements and remedies. He added a “living room,” where nutritionists, chefs and others give informative talks.


Part of the Shoreline Pharmacy interior.

An important step on Hein’s journey was finding the right pharmacist. He hired a woman who — like he — felt burned out working for a big firm. She looks forward to really getting to know her customers, and helping solve their problems.

Shoreline Pharmacy opened a few days ago. Feedback has been exactly what Hein hoped for.

Then at closing time he drives a few minutes home, spends quality time with his wife and kids — and knows he did the right thing.

For himself, and his community.

12 responses to “New Pharmacy Fills Old-Fashioned Need

  1. Very best to the Heins. For me, it will always be Russell’s Colonial Drug, a few doors East of Fresh Market — unparalleled personal service.

    • Laurie Goldberg

      Likewise. I have been in Westport for 33 years and have counted on them frequently… I wish this new business the best of luck though.

  2. Good luck to them! Many thanks for posting Dan- I’ll be sure to check it out. Great to have another “local” business.

  3. Regina Machnicki

    Thank you Heins for opening a pharmacy that Westport/Weston/Southport can fully embrace. Holistic options along side traditional pharmaceuticals sounds fantastic, plus being able to buy a little something for me? Wow, I’ll be visiting you soon!!

  4. I’m so happy for Phil and Karen and their children.
    The pharmacy is so welcoming and I’m one of their first costumers. Am looking forward to buying natural ingredients in their products and always seeing their beautiful smiles when I see them.
    Good luck Phil and Karen
    With love Marta.

  5. i miss Colgan’s and Dorains…

  6. Amanda Lucia Nichols

    Love this!!! Great article about wonderful people!

  7. Thanks for highlighting this new business, Dan! Sounds terrific.

  8. Small entrepreneurial pharmacies are a passion of mine.

    For years, Sid Siegel’s Westport Pharmacy at Compo Acres was the purveryor of great service, great care, and great personal attention.

    I know that kind of service. My great-grandfather, Jacob Davidoff, was schooled in pharmacy in the Ukraine and emigrated 130 years ago to the NYC Lower East Side, opening the Davidoff Pharmacy at Broome and Allen streets in a building that still stands. I still possess one of his delicate glass pharmaceutical chemical jars, and I believe another cousin may possess Jake’s mortar and pestle.

    There’s no Westport angle to the following, except for me. But as a Westporter now living in downtown Bridgeport, I’d lke to recommend the new woman-owned Bridgeport Community Pharacy at 192 Fairfield Avenue. Small, personal, kindly. They deliver, too. If you’re living closer to Bridgeport than to Westport, I recommend Dawn and Bridgeport Community Pharmacy.

    (If Kellyanne Conway can get away with advertising Ivanka Trump from the White House press briefing room, I can advertise a small business in Bridgeport on 066880, right?)

  9. Dick Lowenstein

    Will Shoreline prepare prescriptions compounded according to a physician’s Rx? Colonial does, as I found out when I need such a prescription filled

  10. What an awesome story and I love what the pharmacy has to offer. It seems very refreshing and relaxing.