Maine Drug Store Chain LaVerdiere’s Would Have Turned 100 In 2022
If you were a kid in Maine in the 1980s or early1990s, you remember LaVerdiere’s. Yes, they were a regional pharmacy chain, but they were so much more. This was especially true for kids.
In addition to medications and toiletries, they stocked toys and season decorations. At Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, the 4th of July, and Halloween, you could get whatever you needed to decorate your home, classroom, or workplace. On top of that, at Halloween, they had a big selection of Halloween costumes and accessories.
About forty of the chain's locations had an attached arcade. If you lived in a small town that did not have an actual arcade, there is a good chance that the first place you played Space Invaders, Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat, the T2 game, or Hard Drivin' was at one of their arcades.
According to the KJ, the now defunct chain would have celebrated its 100th birthday in 2022. The first location opened at 177 Main St. in Waterville in 1922. It was in the space that is now occupied by Selah Cafe. Later, the store moved to a location on Kennedy Memorial Drive. Toward the end of its run, the chain expanded into New Hampshire and Vermont. The chain was sold to Rite Aid in 1994.
If you were a former employee of the chain, you may have checked this out. According to the newspaper article, there was a reunion of former employees to be held at Fort Halifax in Winslow on July 16th.
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Personally, I remember LaVerdiere's as being the first place that I used my own money to buy something. It was allowance money that I used to buy a toy boat that had a wind up propeller. After playing with it for about five minutes, I sunk it. It never worked right again. Lesson learned...