Linsky Pharmacy has served as a Pennsport staple for more than a century.
Pennsport prides itself on being a welcoming environment. Jaime and Jerry Martin experienced this first hand when they assumed ownership of the 103-year-old Linsky Pharmacy, 1701 S. Second St., in December 2016. Residents quickly welcomed the husband and wife duo and made them feel a part of the neighborhood.
“This space was dear to [our customers] long before it became ours, so we value the opportunity to tend to their needs and to do so in such a great community,” Jaime said. “We’ve respected their trust in us from the beginning, so we’re always looking to strengthen our ties to them.”
Jaime and her husband serve as the spot’s fourth owners. The second owner, Morton Linsky, gave the establishment its current name. He put in more than three decades before selling it to John Haines. Haines passed the mantle to the Martins.
Jerry, a native of Auburn, Alabama, received a doctorate in pharmacy from Auburn University. He spent “15 years managing retail pharmacies for a large chain and providing relief services to several small, independent pharmacies,” according to a Linsky Pharmacy Facebook post that appeared shortly after the Martins took over. Jaime, who serves as the pharmacy’s operations manager, has a B.S. in Behavioral Science. She spent 10 years working as a social worker and activity director with adult day centers in Delaware County. The couple reside in North Wilmington, Delaware with their children, Naomi, Luke, and Peter.
The Martins eschew the corporate handling of pharmaceutical matters. They’re proud to keep the mom-and-pop shop alive with their dedicated staff, weekday delivery, and an unwavering commitment to addressing residents’ health concerns
Jerry notes that their corner of Pennsport “is filled with so many wonderful people. As our time here has gone on, we’ve been happy to share our knowledge with them and to learn about who they are.”
In a nod to the neighborhood’s Polish and Irish roots, the pharmacy sells food items related to those cultures. The Martins have preserved the shop’s history by retaining a scale that dates back to the 1920s. There’s also a display of the pharmaceutical items that people have called on over the years to tend to their ills and maladies.
The Martins also believe in giving back to the community. They’ve hosted block parties to raise funds for the Philadelphia Eagles’ Autism Challenge for Autism Awareness and Research. They’ve also helped administer flu shots at the South Philadelphia Older Adult Center, 1430 E. Passyunk Ave.
“Everyone’s health is undeniably precious, so we’re always striving to go above and beyond, from our medications to our staff and our goods, to point people in the right direction,” Jaime said to a nod from Jerry. “When we came here, we wanted to preserve the legacy of the other owners because we knew they cared so much about everyone who walked through the door. We’re thankful, then, that these last three years have been so productive.”
“There’s always a bit of risk involved when you try something new,” Jerry said when reflecting on the family’s 2016 purchase. “Each day here, though, has been a way to teach and learn at the same time. To me, that’s not risky in the least; that’s enriching.”