MADISON, NJ - While downtown Madison is primarily filled with locally owned stores, the borough recently welcomed drug store chain Walgreens to the corner of Prospect and Main. The store opened Nov. 30, and held a grand opening on Saturday, Feb. 2.

The event included the sale of hot dogs - with the proceeds going to 4-year-old Brooke Healey of New Providence, who has brain cancer - a live band, opportunities to have your photo taken with a pharmacist, free t-shirts, popcorn and ice cream, games for kids to play, and free toys.

Store Manager Chris Morgan said people describe the store as a classy place in a classy neighborhood.

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“It’s all for the community,” Morgan said. “Everything is for the Borough of Madison. We want them to view us as a fun retailer.”

Pharmacy Manager Margaret Morales-Peluso said she is excited to be in Madison and feels they are in a great location.  

“One thing that we try to do is completely immerse ourselves in the community,” Morales-Peluso said.

She has visited doctors in the area to put a face to the name of her customers and really wants the community to know who they are, she said. Walgreens also participated in Toys for Tots and is assisting with Hurricane Sandy relief as well.

“It’s really customer service-driven,” she said.

The store offers new amenities at the pharmacy for customers including a kiosk for making quick payments for medicine, a waiting area with a couch and a monitor that shows when a person’s medication is ready, as well as an immunization room where people can get their shots. This new type of technologically advanced setup is becoming more popular in Walgreens, said Pharmacist Rachel Stenvall.

“It’s nice for patients to be able to use the immunization room for more privacy,” Stenvall said. “I think the customers really like it.”

Many people throughout the day were shopping and enjoying the friendly staff and free giveaways, including Tom Bintinger of Madison.

“It’s a great location,” he said. “I’m trying it out for the first time.”