Customers stream in and out of Carter’s Drug Store on 24th and Burleigh in Milwaukee.
The store is more than just a place to get a prescription filled, according to owner Lester Carter. He supplies everyone with healthy doses of respect and re-assurance. Those have been the ingredients of his figurative elixir, since he bought the business in 1967 after arriving here from Omaha, Nebraska.
He says his success at the location is due to several factors.
“It’s a matter of a lot of things, courteous treatment, having what the people need, being a good listener to their problems and being able to formulate medications that solve their problems,” Carter says.
Carter says his life-long association with the neighborhood where his store is located continues to be a source of optimism for him.
“People ask me about the neighborhood, and I say as far as I’m concerned, it’s the best neighborhood in the city. That’s just my nature, to be optimistic,” Carter says.
Carter is concerned about the educational system in his neighborhood. He says achievement in school is critical to life-long success.
“If the educational environment doesn’t get people to sustain themselves, then it’s very easy to see that they’re going to have a difficult life," he says.
Carter says he’s not surprised that he is still in the same store he bought when he came to Milwaukee. He says he has no plans to retire.