After 39 years of owning Nisswa Drug, Dennis and Sandra Hins are now retired and enjoying the summer at their home on Lake Hubert in Nisswa.
They plan to stay active by gardening, playing cards and traveling as their 50th wedding anniversary nears.
“We are going to start traveling across the country,” said Sandra. “The first thing we are going to do is travel to the Black Hills for a week to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary with our children and our grandchildren.”
“Our three children, David, Corey and Michelle, and our seven grandchildren. It should to be a roaring time,” said Dennis, smiling.
The couple met while entering their senior year at Wessington Springs High School in South Dakota.
“Dennis was a farm boy and I was a town girl,” said Sandra.
Three years after graduating, Dennis and Sandra married and they lived in Brookings, S.D., while Dennis was earning his pharmaceutical degree at South Dakota State University (SDSU). After he graduated from SDSU in 1965, the Hinses traveled across the Midwest as Dennis worked for Hartig Drug Company and Osco Drug Inc. and gained promotions. That soon changed when the couple came to Nisswa.
“We had some mutual friends here in Nisswa that we visited a few years before,” said Dennis. “The store became available for sale because the gentleman who owned it became ill. I took a look at it and bought it.”
After Dennis purchased the store in 1974, Sandra started to work behind the register.
“Sandy was responsible for all the front-end merchandise,” said Dennis. “The store would not have been successful at all without her input. The rest is history, you could say.”
Both Sandra and Dennis will miss the history of not only the events like Nisswa Crazy Days, but the people as well.
“We saw up to four generations enter the store,” said Sandra, “We are thankful to the people of the communities that have supported us all these years. Grandparents down to the great-grandchildren.”
“We’ve been blessed with good help over the years,” said Dennis. “We’ve been really lucky.”
Sandra said she will miss working the front of the store with her co-workers.
“We’ve had fun working in the store. I’ll miss that and the people also,” she said. “You look forward to retirement, but you don’t realize all the things you’ll miss.”
Dennis will miss the people as well.
“Without a doubt, I will miss all the professional contacts I’ve had over the years. I’ll miss that the most,” he said. “I wonder how some of them are doing.”
The Hinses have confidence in new owners Mike and Laura Schwartzwald of GuidePoint Pharmacy of Brainerd as they adjust to Nisswa Drug.
“They are a nice couple. They will have people helping them,” said Sandra, “I believe they will be fine. They believe in small town pharmacies.”