Camden commerce: Todd's, pizzeria openings celebrated
By Jon Hawley
Thursday, November 16, 2017
CAMDEN — Camden officials celebrated a new Todd's Pharmacy and a new location for Itza Boutza Pizza on Thursday, touting the businesses' growth as evidence retail development is beginning to take off in the county.
“This is an exciting time for us, and we've been waiting for it for some time,” said Todd’s Pharmacy owner William Owens outside the recently constructed, first phase of the Camden Towne Center that's home to the new pharmacy and pizzeria. The businesses together employ more than 20, according to the owners.
The pharmacy at Towne Center is the fifth business location for Todd's, whose first pharmacy opened on Poindexter Street in Elizabeth City in 1956.
Owens said the Todd’s Pharmacy at Towne Center, now open for about six weeks, has received most of its necessary regulatory approvals for private insurance plans as well as Medicaid and Medicare plans.
As a full-service pharmacy, Owens said the Todd's in Camden offers medications, plus durable medical supplies, greeting cards and other items.
Asked why people should do business at Todd's instead of larger pharmacies, like Walgreen's or CVS, Owens said Todd's matches their prices for insured medications, but offers more personal service. People want a pharmacy where employees know their name and treat them “like family,” he said.
Owens also said he's wanted to expand to Camden for some time, noting county officials have determined the demand for a pharmacy in Camden is second only to the demand for a grocery store.
Speaking to the crowd Thursday, Camden Board of Commissioners Chairman Clayton Riggs thanked the businesses for opening and working with the county to address residents' unmet needs. He also said the county aims to continue growing the Towne Center that's located past the Hardee's at the intersection of U.S. Highway 158 and N.C. Highway 343.
Pointing to an undeveloped parcel beside the new businesses, Riggs also commented, “And just in case anybody from the newspaper is interested, the second phase is over there waiting for that grocery store.”
Owens said he's trying to recruit a grocery store to Camden, but there's been limited interest in the area so far. He suggested Aldi might consider Camden after opening its Elizabeth City store. Once Aldi delivery trucks are supplying that store, it's not far to Camden, he noted.
Owens also thanked Camden officials for investing about $40,000 to upgrade water and sewer infrastructure for Towne Center. With larger water and sewer lines, the site can serve existing businesses in phase one of the development — there are still spaces for rent between Todd’s and Itza Boutza — plus a grocery store, he noted.
Joining Owens and other Camden officials was Forest East, Itza Boutza owner. East said he “thanked God” for the community support that's not only made the business a success, but helped it easily move from the Camden Business Park to its new location.
East said the eight-year-old business moved for two reasons: a better, more central location, and more space. His new dining area can seat 48, up from 28, he said.
Though there are lots of places to get pizza, East said Itza Boutza Pizza stands out for the freshness of its ingredients. He also described the restaurant as knowing how to make good pizza from day one, praising its previous owner, Richard Allen. He also offered thanks to Itza Boutza's long-serving manager, Cicely Wyatt.
Going forward, East said Itza Boutza also plans to expand its delivery radius into parts of Elizabeth City.