perry

Jennifer Perry (left) and Genny Kirkland Willett. SUBMITTED

This week’s cup of coffee was with Genny Kirkland Willett, pharmacist and owner of Hendersonville Health Mart. Genny has an inviting smile and a sweet disposition. She’s a twin and a Hendersonville native, who grew up on the Indian Lake Peninsula.

She attended Indian Lake Elementary, Ellis Middle and Hendersonville High School, and even played tennis for the Commandos, which earned her a full scholarship to Carson Newman University in Johnson City.

At her core, Genny has always enjoyed helping people. She knew from a young age that she wanted to go into healthcare, but she thought that might be more along the lines of physical therapy. The “pharmaceutical seed” was planted in her mind after learning that her mother’s friend was a pharmacist, and Genny was sold.

After graduating from Carson Newman, she went to pharmacy school at Samford University in Birmingham. This is also where she met her husband of 10 years, Curt, who was a year ahead of her in school. Once she graduated, she followed him to Texarkana, where he studied compounding and they both got their feet wet in the industry.

One of Genny’s first pharmacist gigs was at a Target Pharmacy, where she says she enjoyed the personal touch of getting to know her customers and their families. It also allowed her to gain experience in a retail environment, which would prove invaluable later down the road.

Genny and Curt married and lived in Texas for five years before she became pregnant with their first son and they returned to Hendersonville to be close to family. Although they spoke to the previous owner of Hendersonville Health Mart, Dr. Ralph Williams, about buying the store, he wasn’t quite ready to sell yet. They were both able to secure pharmacist positions at Walmart in Clarksville.

Finally, two and a half years ago, Dr. Williams called and told the Willetts that he was ready to sell. Genny is a firm believer in “God’s timing,” and that He had a large hand in the transaction and her homecoming.

Hendersonville Health Mart has been a family-owned pharmacy in town for more than 30 years. Because of the great reputation under the previous ownership, Genny feels an immense responsibility to continue offering top-notch customer service, and also enjoys making it personal. Her favorite part of her job is getting to know her customers and their families.

They offer prescriptions, immunizations, and work with long term care providers. Curt also specializes in compounding and hormone replacement therapy. And let me tell you from personal experience, you won’t find better service from a pharmacy in Hendersonville!

During COVID-19, the pharmacy began offering curbside service, which Genny says they’re excited to keep going forward. The free prescription delivery service that they set up before the pandemic hit also became instrumental in their ability to get customers their medicine.

Genny wants the pharmacy to be their legacy one day—something they can pass down to their own family. After all, Genny jokes that their two-year-old son was almost born there and their five-year-old son is already training on the cash register.

Genny, it was amazing to hear your story and get to know you better. Thanks so much for being one of my 100 Cups of Coffee!

Jennifer Perry is a mom, wife, and an active member of the community that enjoys networking and giving back whenever possible. Reach her at jennifers100cups@gmail.com.

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