After 71 years in business, an East Ridge staple is closing down.  

The sign outside Kingwood Pharmacy says it's "The Only Drugstore You'll Ever Need." But long-time customers like Synovia Mack now need a new place to go.

After serving the East Ridge community since 1945, the store is closing its doors for good. 

"This is worse than being in the hospital. It's awful!," Mack said. "I just don't know what I'm gonna do."

Many customers remained loyal through the years because they felt like family.

"They know your face. They know you before you even get here by your voice. They know who you are," Mack explained.

"We came up to tell them good-bye," said Elaine Taylor, who has been coming here for 53 years.

"It's a shame for East Ridge that we have to lose it," said Taylor. "But it's a sign of the times, I guess."

The pharmacy has been family-owned since 1945. The owners, Joe and Brenda Musick, recently decided to retire.

"Nobody put us out of business," said Joe Harper, store manager.

Twenty-five full and part-time employees were shocked to learn they'd soon be out of a job.

"A lot of hugs, and a lot of 'we're gonna miss you's," described Harper.

"The camaraderie, and the friendly people. Knowing you could trust them with your medicine. Just everything about it," Taylor explained.

Customers' accounts are being transferred to Walgreen's.

Even though it's just down the street, shoppers said they're sad to go somewhere else. Because, to them, this was more than just a drugstore.

"It's friends," said Taylor, with tears in her eyes. "And it's the end of something for this community."

Monday was the last day customers could fill prescriptions in the pharmacy.

A liquidation sale for the rest of the store's merchandise will begin later this week. Kingwood will stay open until most of the stock is gone.