For 100 years, Paulsen’s Pharmacy has served Portland’s Hollywood neighborhood. Paulsen’s Pharmacy adopted its current name in 1923 when Charles Paulsen, RPH, purchased the pharmacy from its original owner, Frank Nichols. Today, the pharmacy is owned by the Basrai Family, who purchased it in 2016 and continue Paulsen’s legacy.
Throughout the pharmacy’s 100 years of operation, it has witnessed many historic changes, as well as shifts in healthcare services.Throughout the pharmacy’s 100 years of operation, it has witnessed many historic changes, as well as shifts in healthcare services. During Gary Balo’s, RPH, pharmacy ownership, the Hollywood community rallied to save the historic corner building. On May 15, 1982, Balo and his partner, Jim Meade, were served an eviction notice by the building owners. McDonald’s had made a deal to purchase and tear down the building so they could build a drive-in restaurant.
Meade and Balo went to the City of Portland, Grand District, and the Hollywood business association and came up with a plan that would rezone the district into a “historical site,” thus preventing the building from being torn down. Balo and Meade were forever grateful to the community for their numerous letters, signatures, and phone calls.
The pharmacy has been successful in adapting to meet community needs. There was a time when patients and customers could enjoy a soda at the fountain while getting their prescriptions. Paulsen’s and the Basrai team have since transitioned the business to incorporate additional pharmacy services.
Paulsen’s is a forward-thinking community pharmacy. Today, they specialize in hospice care, which makes up approximately half of its pharmacy business profile. Other niche areas include health and wellness products and services.
In urban Portland, Paulsen’s prime cornerstone location and community focus has made it a local healthcare hub. It often serves multiple generations of patients, from grandchildren to grandparents. The Basrai team looks forward to bringing even greater specialization and care to the next generation in pharmacy healthcare.