Paulsens Pharmacy history

Yes, Paulsens has a long History!

Paulsens Pharmacy is now 100 years old. Here is the History of people and events over the years that helped shape who we are today.

The building that Paulsens Pharmacy has always resided in was originally constructed in 1912 and completed in 1913. It was originally a Real Estate office until Nichols Pharmacy opened its Pharmacy practice in the building in 1918. Charles Paulsens was working at the Pharmacy as a Pharmacist and bought the business that same year and changed the name. Mr. Paulsen originally migrated from Latourell Kansas in 1899. Mr. Paulsen was a tall kind man who quickly became a local favorite of the Hollywood residents. Mr. Paulsen went on to co-found the Hollywood business association and the Jr. Rose Festival Parade, both of which are still thriving today. The staple of the Pharmacy has always been the Soda Fountain. It was built in New York and shipped to Portland Oregon. Soon, people came to read the morning newspaper and sip on a cup of coffee, or the children would come by for a soda or a milkshake after school. The fountain has always been a popular destination for residents in the Hollywood district.  

Mr. Paulsens brought in another Pharmacist, Jim Meade, in 1946. Jim was born and raised in Indiana and obtained his Pharmacists degree from Butler University. He joined the Navy during WW2 and was stationed in the Bay Area for the duration of his deployment. He found Portland Oregon on a furlough and fell in love with the city. After retiring from the Navy, he moved here.  They worked side by side until Mr. Paulsen retired in 1968 and lived his retirement years in the Portland Area until Mr. Paulsen passed away on November 26, 1980 at the age of 82. Jim Meade continued the tradition of friendly service and maintained the main attraction; the Soda Fountain. Shortly thereafter Jim brought on another pharmacist, Gary Balo, in 1970. In 1978, after working together for 8 years, Gary Balo became Partner and owned half the business.

On May 15, 1982 they were served an eviction notice by the building owners. Mcdonald’s had made a deal to purchase and tear down the historic building and turn it into a drive-in restaurant. To combat the eviction, Mr. Meade and Mr. Balo went to the City of Portland, Grand District, and the Hollywood business association and came up with a plan that would rezone the district into a “historical site” thus not allowing the building to be torn down. This reason: “traffic congestion.” This moved the City of Portland to designate the business as a historic landmark and thus blocking the plans for a Mcdonald’s drive-in and stopping the eviction.  This would not have been possible without numerous letters, signatures and phone calls to influential people involved in making the final decision. For this, Balo and Meade were forever grateful to the community.

Jim Meade retired on December 31, 1987. Gary Balo was sole proprietor as of Jan 1, 1988. Gary and his wife Karen ran the Pharmacy the way it was always run; friendly faces, cold sodas, and of course, prescription advise and dispensing. After working at the Pharmacy for 46 years, Gary Balo decided to retire and sold the Pharmacy to Gary Basrai on April 18, 2016. Since then the Pharmacy has gone through two different internal remodels and added new niches such as dispensing for hospice patients in the Portland Metro Area. We currently have partnerships with Kaiser Health, Adventist Health, and Serenity Hospice. Our focus remains the same; great customer service. While the faces have changed the core ethics remain the same. Empathy, Accuracy and Timely service.  

go to place an order

By trusted supplier