I am Decatur #22

Doug Taunton

Doug Taunton began working at McKinney’s Apothecary in 1968 while he was a pharmacy student. In 1978, Doug bought the pharmacy from Dr. Bill McKinney. McKinney had established the business in downtown Decatur in 1952, and to this day it remains the oldest operating pharmacy in the city.

“When I first came to Decatur in 1968, there were approximately 12 independent, family-owned drugstores in Decatur. Over the last 50 years, each one has gone out and been bought up by the big-box stores. We have seemingly continued to weather the storm.”

The success of McKinney’s Apothecary is a result of the personalized service all customers receive when they walk in the door. “I like to say, we are a country drugstore set off in the city. We enjoy getting to know people and hearing their stories. We’re happy with them and hurt with them when they have disasters in their family. When they get bad news about their health, we feel sad and try to be an encouragement. We know when a person needs an extra hug, or maybe a little joke. I think it’s getting to know people on a one-on-one basis that’s really kept McKinney’s here.”

Doug’s plans for the future of the pharmacy remain constant. “ We don’t wanna be any bigger. We don’t want any other locations. We wanna do our job where we are. You know the old saying, ‘Bloom where you’re planted.’ That’s what I’d like to do for the rest of my career.”



  1. Carolyn Cowan said:

    Great portrait as always, Beate.
    Happy Labor Day!
    Carolyn Cowan

    • Thanks Carolyn. We are enjoying the holiday weekend. Decatur is hosting the biggest independent book festival in the US this weekend and I have just spent the day listening to an interesting array of writers talking about their craft. I hope you are enjoying your weekend too. Take care.

  2. Jerry Turner said:

    Hi, Beate. I always enjoy your photo essays!!

    This morning’s Decatur # 22 grabbed my attention.

    Not only did Doug and I go from the first grade through the 12th grade together in the little town of Butler, Ga., he was (and is) a great friend, although we haven’t spoken in a long time. I must give him a call. Oh, by the way, he’s also related to me through my grand mother’s side of the family.

    I assume that you know Doug beyond just having him star in your latest photo essay.

    I love his philosophy of business and life and how things have gotten too big.

    Give Doug my best when you see him.


    • Oh my goodness. I love your story! I have only recently met Doug but now I have to email him to tell him to read your comment. Thanks for sharing this. Your story makes this post even more special for me. See, we are all connected. Do you live here in Atlanta?

  3. Jerry Turner said:

    I live in south Georgia about 20 miles from Monticello, Florida. I found about your web site from Walt Wager. He and I are members of Wiregrass Gallery, an art co-op in Thomasville.

    Please send me Doug’s e-mail.

  4. Margarita Montalvo said:


    • Yes we do and they live in Decatur. He is special like most of my neighbors. I am blessed to live in such a welcoming and loving town,

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