GARFIELD PARK – On Nov. 5, CVS celebrated their new drug store’s grand opening at 3146 W. Madison. The ribbon cutting ceremony, led by Alderman Jason C. Ervin (28th Ward), included words of encouragement from Derrick Smith (10th Dist.) and store manager Susie Casey.

It took more than four years to get approval to begin construction. In the beginning there were issues with the land and also additional community concerns, but using black construction workers helped the store become a part of the community. Store manager Casey said the people she hired for the new location are both good and diverse, and with the opening of this store, there will hopefully be more CVS stores to come. The new store is now home to over 20 employees who are thrilled that the store is up and running.

“It’s a great experience working here,” said employee Chris Parker. “I’m glad that the store is here because it feels like a step forward in our community.”

With the success of the opening of the new CVS, Ald. Ervin hopes it will bring more big-name businesses to the neighborhood, creating more jobs for the people in the area. He thinks within the next five years, the success of the store will be an example of how having more stores coming to local areas benefits people. State Rep. Smith said he wants local residents to have the best because they deserve the best, but in order for this store to be successful, the community needs to come in and shop.

“We have to let the community know the store is here. If we don’t get the community to support the store, it will be another vacant lot,” Smith said.

Within the first hour after cutting the ribbon, the store began to fill with neighborhood residents who were there to fulfill their shopping needs.

Ervin and Smith wished the store much success in the upcoming years, and the locals welcomed the store to the neighborhood and expressed thanks for the opportunities it has brought to them.