Locally-owned neighborhood pharmacy is closing

Maximart customers Joan Phelan and her daughter Kim Phelan with their dog Max outside of the pharmacy that closes tomorrow. Post photo by Sara Tabin.

Daily Post Staff Writer

Maximart Pharmacy at 240 Cambridge Ave. is shutting its doors tomorrow after four decades of filling the prescriptions of Palo Altans.

Jack Morton, who spoke to the Post while waiting in line inside the store, said the pharmacy’s closure feels like losing a neighbor because the business has been such an important part of patrons’ lives. He said store employees made a real connection with patrons.

“(Owner Ben Kwong) didn’t just give you a bottle of pills, he gave you something to make your life better,” said Morton, a former councilman.

As Morton approached the pharmacy counter, Kwong emerged from the backroom and greeted him. Morton told Kwong that he is sorry to see the store close. Kwong said “it’s time” and shook Morton’s hand.

Kwong confirmed yesterday that he is closing the store, but was too busy to talk further.

Longtime customers sad

Joan Phelan was picking up a prescription with her daughter, Kim Phelan, 38, and their dog Max when she spoke with the Post. The pair said they have been going to Maximart for Kim Phelan’s entire life.

Joan Phelan said Maximart has gotten her and her daughter through a lot of illnesses. She said the store workers always got her the medicine she needed quickly and with a happy face. And they were also nice to Max.

Phelan likened the loss of the pharmacy to the closure of the Prolific Oven, a well-loved bakery, earlier this year. She said she is sad to see another local business go.


  1. Ben, thank you for the great service you’ve provided over the years. You certainly will be missed, but I realize everyone’s got to retire.

  2. This is the sad story of the California Ave Area, one small mom-and-pop closes after another. Community serving businesses are disappearing.

  3. Became acquainted with Ben when they were at Maximart at the Old Fry’s site – spending time and chatting with my mother and father… My dad and I followed Ben to their Cambridge location and continued our connection and friendship all of these years. When my mom passed and then later my dad, Ben and Robin were right there to support me … and through my own illnesses. Always spending a moment to explain your meds and to caution you if appropriate – I always felt cared for. I popped in today – not knowing about the closure – and was happy to have the chance to hug everyone who has been so kind to me for decades. I love you and will miss you all.

  4. Ben, I was sorry to hear that Maximart is closing, you and your wonderful staff will be greatly missed.
    Thank you for all the years that you have been tending to our medical needs, you have been part of our lives for a long time.
    Enjoy your retirement and know that you will not be forgotten. You are an important part of Palo Alto history.

    My very best wishes to you all.

Comments are closed.