Ten southeastern Minnesota pharmacies opened Monday under new owners and a new name.

Iowa-based grocer Hy-Vee announced a deal in February to acquire the Weber & Judd chain of pharmacies, Rochester’s oldest health care business. No financial details of the deal were released.

Weber & Judd, which dated back to 1862, sold 10 pharmacies to Hy-Vee. That includes two in Rochester and ones in Kasson, Pine Island, Plainview, Preston, Spring Valley, St. Charles, Stewartville and Zumbrota.

On Monday, all of the stores in area communities and the one inside the Hy-Vee Barlow Plaza grocery were re-launched as Hy-Vee HealthMarket Rx locations. The Weber & Judd store at 18 Ninth St. S.E. was re-named as a Hy-Vee Pharmacy.

Patient files automatically transferred to the Hy-Vee locations. About 70 employees work at the former Weber & Judd stores.

“Customers can expect to see many of the same helpful smiles they know, as well as new friendly faces, as we strive to help make their lives easier, healthier and happier,” stated Hy-Vee’s HealthMarket Director Tryce Polley in a press announcement.

In addition to traditional pharmacy services, all the Hy-Vee locations offer free prescription delivery, text message notifications, automated refill ordering, immunization services, free blood pressure checks and a registered dietitian for consultations.

This move marks the the end of a pharmacy business that dates back to 1862, before Dr. William W. Mayo arrived in Rochester.

A man named George Weber came to Rochester and started a drug store. One of his employees, Philip G. Heintz, later became a partner, and in 1908, the firm became Weber & Heintz.

In 1912, the company was reorganized and in 1916, the name was changed to Weber & Judd when C.M. (Cornelius) Judd became a partner.

For many early years, until the late 1980s, the downtown Weber & Judd clock displayed the time on Rochester’s corner of First Avenue and Second Street Southwest.

Jeff Kiger tracks business action in Rochester and southeastern Minnesota every day in Heard on the Street. Send tips or questions to kiger@postbulletin.com.

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