RAIN CITY DRUG STORE

The Rain City Drug Store has it’s doors fixed open for customers on Tuesday after a Grand Opening this past Spring at the corner of Dock and Front streets. Staff photo by Dustin Safranek

Perceiving a need for a downtown drug store, local Stefhanie Smith decided to open Rain City Drugstore at 305 Dock Street.

The store has been open for four weeks, Smith said during a Tuesday morning interview with the Daily News.

"I think that there was just a need," she explained about her interest in opening the store. "A need to have a drug store downtown."

Rain City's purpose, Smith explained, is to "carry all over-the-counter (products)" and "all that anybody needs at any time."

The store's inventory includes a range of snacks and drinks, over-the-counter medicine and hygiene products, beauty products and other personal care items. Rain City targets mainly locals, and does not carry inventory aimed specifically at tourists.

Smith has a background in business, having worked in management and draft architecture. Now, she owns Rain City Drugstore along with two "silent partners."

Smith began working in January, with the original plan of being set to open the store in April.

However, Smith's was one of many business plans disrupted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

"Warehouses were shut down in New York, the supply lines for the makeup was a challenge, and then just setting up the accounts was kind of a challenge. ... Just to get that contact made (was hard)," Smith said.

Because of the COVID-19 setbacks, the store finally opened its doors in June.

Smith said that business has "been slow, but it's ebb and flow."

She estimated that the store gets most of its business later in the week, around Thursday or Friday.

"I think people are finally finding us," Smith said, adding that "everybody's really excited."

Now that Rain City is open, Smith said her favorite part of the business is "the people (and) bringing something to the downtown area, and the people that live downtown and the local businesses."

"And then just bringing in stuff that I love, too," Smith added. "Some of my favorite things, just bringing them to the store for people."

Smith's favorite items include candles, jewelry items, soap products and umbrellas.

While Smith did originally anticipate a business boost from summer visitors, she quickly realized that COVID-19 had changed the summer business landscape in Ketchikan.

"We geared it toward the locals," she commented about the inventory. "We didn't do curio."

Rain City Drugstore is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday. The store is closed Sunday.