Friday was "Tom Sengupta Day" in Minneapolis as the city bid farewell to a pharmacist known for doling out as much political discussion as medication.
For almost 43 years, the 75-year-old has turned Schneider drug store on University Avenue in Prospect Park into an institution.
But a combination of colon and esophageal cancer has led Sengupta to retirement at the end of the month, according to MPR. but not before Minneapolis City Council held a day in his honor, which included a civic ceremony at City Hall.
He bought the store in 1972, some 14 years after arriving in the United States from his native India, and has maintained a store that MPR describes as a "trip back in time," filled with wooden cabinets and drawers that harks back to traditional apothecaries.
His store became known as a center of neighborliness, community and debate, with FOX 9 reporting its lively, but friendly after-hours discussions attracted a series of heavy-hitting politicians, while the store's windows are papered with political posters.
"I ran this thing as making people's lives easier," he told the news station. "More of a service center than a business."
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His tenure at the pharmacy survived competition from nearby Walgreens and Target, with MinnPost putting this down in no small part to Sengupta's warm welcomes and commitment that saw him work up to 80 hours a week.
He is looking to sell his business to someone who will carry on in the same vein, though few are likely to prove an adequate replacement.