Polo residents have two new businesses to look forward to in the rapidly approaching new year.
The eagerly anticipated return of a grocery store is slated to happen in January and a new telepharmacy is planned for the spring.
Grocery store owner Tushar Patel said Monday that he hopes to open Polo Fresh Food Market at 205 S. Division Ave. (Ill. 26) during the week of Jan. 20 “if everything is on schedule.”
The new store will offer a full grocery line, fresh meats and produce, deli, and liquor mart, and will initially be open daily from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., with the hours possibly expanded later.
The store will employ eight to 10 people. Most of those positions will be part-time, Patel said.
Polo has been without a grocery store for more than 10 years.
Patel bought the shuttered Polo Food Center, formerly Polo Super Valu, earlier this year, and with financial incentives from the city has been renovating it and buying new equipment.
Patel said operations are going well to get the store ready for its opening “at least by the end of January.”
He also owns and operates a grocery store in Lanark.
The new telepharmacy will be opening in Polo a few months into the new year.
Polo Pharmacy will be at 111 E. Mason St., in the former Visible Changes building next to Cimino’s Pizza.
Building remodeling is finished, and now owners Kip and Karrie Sabinson, of Warren, are waiting for the state to approve the paperwork.
Opening day should be in 3 or 4 months, Jennifer Garman, pharmacy technician at Lanark Pharmacy, said last week.
Karrie is a pharmacist; she and her husband also own the Lanark telepharmacy, one in Warren, and are opening another in Elizabeth. The Polo store will be their fourth, Garman said.
The Lanark pharmacy has been filling and delivering prescriptions in Polo since mid-January, when Charley’s Pharmacy & True Value Hardware, 110 E. Mason St., closed after decades in the downtown.
Owner Tom Felker, who also owns the Snyder Pharmacies in Oregon, Byron, and Dixon, also has been filling prescriptions for his Polo customers.
In a telepharmacy, a pharmacist online and off-site inspects and verifies prescriptions, which are dispensed by on-site technicians, like Garman, often the same day.
Customers can order in person or online, then pick up the prescription. They also have the ability to talk with the off-site pharmacist.
Such pharmacies are designed for small, rural communities, to save patients long drives to get medication, or drives made treacherous by bad weather.
Polo Pharmacy will be open from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday.
Kathleen Schultz of Sauk Valley Media contributed to this story.