Alvin Ferrer knows pharmacy owner John Headding will be a tough act to follow after Ferrer’s escrow to buy Cambria Drug & Gift closes, approximately Oct. 18. “John is a pillar in the community,” Ferrer said in a phone interview Monday, Oct. 8. “There’s no way to replace him; I can only succeed him.”
Ferrer, 40, was born in the Philippines, grew up in the Koreatown area of Los Angeles, and then spent the next few decades learning and working throughout California. He graduated from UC San Francisco pharmacy school and was a hospital pharmacist for inpatients for six years and then, in his own business, contracted to do pharmacist-relief shifts for such firms as Safeway and Longs from Arcata to Tulare.
Ferrer said that, on a Cambria drive-through after a shift in San Luis Obispo, he thought to himself, “This is such a beautiful place. I wonder if there’s any possibility of living (and working) here?”
Soon, he, wife Cassie and their three-month-old daughter Catalina will be North Coast residents.
They’ll keep the Cambria Drug & Gift name, and the staff “if they’ll have me,” he said. Ferrer has been working side-by-side for most of two weeks with Headding.
“This is a great store, a great community,” and it had to be a good fit, Headding said. “This is a popular kind of store, a dream come true” for many pharmacists who want to “spend time with people” and form bonds with them.
He plans to “semi-retire, travel, take a little time off and then work part time” at the family pharmacy in Morro Bay, which is where he, wife Sue and their children and grandchildren live. “It’s been a love affair for our whole family ... we’re not going to say goodbye, just ‘see you down the road.’