During its annual award ceremony held December 6, Retail Merchants named Catherine Cary, President of Bremo Pharmacy, the Distinguished Retailer of the Year for 2019. The annual award ceremony dates back more than 50 years and has honored some of the city’s most legendary local retailers including Thalhimer’s, Miller & Rhoads, and Ukrop’s.

The Bremo Pharmacy team at the awards

Catherine Cary (front, center) and the team from Bremo Pharmacy.

Established in 1966, the Distinguished Retailer of the Year Award celebrates a successful local retailer who is an industry leader while consistently giving back to the community through charitable community service efforts. The winner is chosen by a panel comprised of past Distinguished Retailers following a nomination process.

a group of retailers stands in line in front of the stage

Previous winners of the Distinguished Retailer of the Year Award line up prior to the announcement of the 2019 winner.

Cary grew up at Bremo Pharmacy where she got her start dusting the shelves as a child. She later moved up the ladder, becoming a pharmacist and a manager, and then a clinical coordinator. She has spent her whole career in this local family business which was started in 1976.

Since taking the helm of Bremo Pharmacy 15 years ago, Cary has turned her focus towards clearly defining the company brand and fostering a stronger employee culture that truly embodies who Bremo is as a company.

“We believe in giving back to the community because it is a part of who we are,” said Cary.

Catherine Cary and Rick Hood stand on the stage

The 2018 Distinguished Retailer of the Year, Ellwood Thompson’s Rick Hood, presents this year’s award to Catherine Cary.

Indeed, Cary is passionate about improving patient health through education. Through her example, Bremo’s Core Values are embraced daily and are evident through Cary’s leadership in giving back to the community. From supporting the National Alliance on Mental Health Illness to securing scholarships for pharmacy technicians to attend pharmacy school, under Cary’s leadership, Bremo Pharmacy has proven its commitment to the community while also proving itself a pioneer within the areas of pharmacy and wellness.

The Distinguished Retailer of the Year Award nominees for 2019 included Arthur’s Electric Service, HOUSEpitality Family of Restaurants, Rock Steady Boxing, Sacred Waters Holistic Spa, South River Compounding Pharmacy, and Waller & Company Jewelers.