MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Twenty-three pharmacies were damaged during the unrest in the Twin Cities. Fewer than half have since reopened, making medication complicated for the people who own them and the communities they serve.

Lloyd’s Pharmacy in St Paul’s Midway neighborhood was among those destroyed. For owner Jim Stage, it was part of his life and his livelihood.

He grew up in this Midway neighborhood, interned at Lloyd’s as a student, then bought it in 2014.

On May 28, someone on his staff was driving nearby and noticed the looting had started. He decided to close early. Hours later, the building was on fire.

Stage got the call around 4 a.m. and drove down two hours later to see it for himself.

“I was crying,” Stage said. “One of my pharmacists that works for me came and he was crying.”

Stage has diverted some of his 8,000 customers to Setzer’s in Roseville, which he also owns. The rest of his healing process has been about finding understanding.

“I want people to know that we forgive the people that did it,” Stage said. “We need to get back on our feet as quickly as possible so as to serve the people that we had as customers.”

The Minnesota Board of Pharmacy is in the process of working with owners to get temporary shops up and running. Stage plans to open a short-term spot on Snelling Avenue on July 1.

The Board of Pharmacy is also encouraging shops to deliver medication if possible, and has waived some minor enforcement, to make the process a little easier.

Long term, Stage plans to rebuild. A GoFundMe page has already raised more than $100,000 to do just that.

Christiane Cordero

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