All in the Family
The late Charles "Chuck" Walgreen Jr., son of Walgreens founder Charles Walgreen, was a 1928 U-M pharmacy graduate and a major university donor (the Walgreen Drama Center). His son Charles III followed in his footsteps in 1958, and grandson, Kevin Walgreen, is a 1984 U-M psychology grad and a senior vice president with the company. Though efforts to interview Kevin were rebuffed by corporate, the store's shift leader Caitlyn Yother cheerfully offered: "There's a chance that Kevin Walgreen might make it to the grand opening." That's scheduled for February 7.
As Yother leads a tour through the store, she points out the self-serve frozen yogurt station and the ICEE (slushie), Starbucks, and Coke Freestyle machines--all popular with the college crowd, she says. She rides the escalator upstairs to the pharmacy, which features an express station for online orders and a private immunization room. The upstairs also features a large section of U-M souvenirs and clothing as well as toiletries.
The rest of the inventory also reflects the store's campus market: when interviewed shortly after opening, Yother was having a hard time keeping ramen noodles and plastic party cups on the shelves. The store also sells other groceries, beer, and wine and will soon add a fresh foods cooler with fruits, salads, and sandwiches. A long counter with a half-dozen stools runs along the front window--an echo of the lunch counter that looked out on the Diag during the building's first life as a Kresge dime store.