In 1961, two young men, George Dillard – a young man from the tobacco fields of Eastern North Carolina – and Bob Coleman – a Burlington native and son of a prominent business man – decided to open up their own pharmacy in Graham, North Carolina. Having both graduated from the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Pharmacy in 1957 and 1958, they had big dreams and an ardent determination to serve their community. A year later the two would also take ownership of Haw River Drug in Haw River, North Carolina. As both stores became successful, the two decided to divide the businesses with George taking ownership of Tar Heel Rexall Drugs and Bob taking ownership of Haw River Drug.
During the first few years of business Tar Heel Rexall Drugs operated out of the building that is currently known as Steve’s Garden Market on Harden Street in Graham. As time passed, the business grew and so too did a need for more space. In 1978, George began planning a new facility and by 1979 the store had a new home at the corner of Gilbreath and Main Street, just a few blocks from the Court House, and a new name, Tar Heel Drug. In the years that followed, through hard work, dedication, and compassion for his customers, George established Tar Heel Drug as a pillar in the community.
By 1998, the store had a new addition to its staff, a recent graduate of the Campbell University School of Pharmacy named Jim Deming. Jim was raised in upstate New York, and after earning his undergraduate degree, moved south and began a family with his wife Connie in the Charlotte, North Carolina area. Jim’s first career was not as a pharmacist, but with a degree in Biology, he knew that it was something he wanted to try. So, while juggling his job and family life, he returned to school and earned his Doctor of Pharmacy at Campbell University.
After over forty years of service at Tar Heel Drug, George Dillard decided it was time to retire and enjoy life with his family and his wife Pat. In 2004, George sold ownership of Tar Heel Drug to Jim. Since then, Jim has attempted to carry on the legacy and the commitment to serving Tar Heel Drug’s customers and the surrounding community.
The history and success of Tar Heel Drug has been influenced by a common doctrine of caring and recognizing the value of every person. Our goal for the future is to continue promoting this tradition and preserving Tar Heel Drug as a valuable healthcare resource in our community.