Alex Dapp // Spring 2015
Sore muscles from his days on the Roo basketball court were the inspiration behind Gary Grove’s unusual business model.
When Grove (B.S.P. ’75) finished his pharmacy degree, he went back to his hometown of Springfield, Mo., and entered his family’s pharmacy business.
And while Grove Pharmacy has served the area in Springfield for more than 60 years, today, the business incorporates a more relaxing way to aid in the wellness of the pharmacy’s customers.
Grove’s experience with massage therapy at UMKC is what motivated him to open the first Grove Spa in 1995.
“I played basketball on scholarship for UMKC,” Grove says, “and I would get massages following games to relieve the strain on my muscles.”
“I wanted to sell something fun instead of medications,” says Grove. “People don’t like to take the ‘good kind’ of medication that keeps them healthy, so I wanted to offer a good alternative of wellness that people enjoy but also keeps their bodies in shape.”
The spa started out offering only massage therapy, but has expanded to include numerous services such as steam therapy, spray tanning, facials, waxing and nail treatments.
Since the opening of Grove Spa, the business has grown and has since added a second location in downtown Springfield in 2012, making it the fourth installment of the Grove Pharmacy business line. Grove Spa just received the title of “The No. 1 Spa in Springfield” for the 11th year in a row.
“We keep progressing, adding new techniques as well as new products and it’s because of our excellent customer service and wonderful employees that we are so successful,” Grove says.
Grove says he regularly attends alumni events at the pharmacy school and has remained friends with a number of his former classmates.
“I am glad I was exposed to so many different individuals. I met some of the most wonderful people during my time at UMKC,” he says.
Grove says he hopes to continue to keep the business in the family. His oldest son, Whitney, is operations manager for Grove Pharmacies and Grove Spa, and his middle son, Nicholas, is currently in pre-pharmacy school at Drury University in Springfield.
Grove says his future goal is a simple one: to “be happy with what I have.”
Gary Grove’s Tips for Relaxation:
1. Get a massage regularly
“It’s one of the best gifts you can give yourself.”
2. Turn off your cell phone
“Staring at a screen and constantly being plugged in is not relaxing.”
3. De-stress at the end of the day
“Take time for yourself and enjoy a glass of wine.”
4. Take care of yourself
“Get yourself a pedicure, manicure or a wax. It’s worth it.”
5. Take a break and look inward
“Slow down and focus on your breathing.”