Members of the Malheur Drug pharmacy staff will be on hand Friday to help celebrate the store's annual customer appreciation day. (The Enterprise/Pat Caldwell).

VALE – Adam Tolman knows for a small business to succeed it must be competitive, innovative and take care of its customers.

“Established businesses fail all the time and I don’t want to be one of them. I am always trying to help grow and be a sought-after business,” said Tolman.

That’s why Tolman, co-owner of Malheur Drug with his wife Jennifer, believes their annual customer appreciation day – set this Friday - is more than just another event.

“We would just like to thank them for their patronage. Shake their hands and say, ‘Thank you for supporting us,’” said Tolman.

Malheur Drug’s customer appreciation event began 10 years ago, said Tolman, evolving into an annual early summer rite.

This year, the event begins at 8 a.m. and goes to 6 p.m. A free, catered lunch – cooked up Brian Wolfe, Malheur County Sheriff - will be offered from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. This year’s edition of the event will be a little different than in the past, said Tolman.

“We are getting more businesses involved,” said Tolman.

Morrison Meats is donating the hot dogs and hamburgers for the lunch while Mal’s Diner will offer free ice cream and snow cones.

Mal’s Diner owner Malinda Castleberry said partnering with Malheur Drug on its customer appreciation day made sense.

“We are a small community that has to work together, and we all depend on each other,” she said.

Malheur Drug will offer special sales and discounts during the day.

“We will have prizes they can win, including a 43-inch Samsung 4K TV, and we will probably have a gun they can win. We also usually do some sort of kid’s toy package,” said Tolman.

This year’s event is special for another reason, said Tolman.

“It is 65 years that Malheur Drug has been in business. It’s been in my family for over 30 years,” he said. “That’s kind of a big deal.”

Tolman said he begins planning for the customer appreciation day in January.

Reporter Pat Caldwell: pat@malheurenterprise.com or 541-473-3377.

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