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  • Writer's pictureCamp Nisswa

GuidePoint Pharmacy Pine River: Journey Through History & Sweet Delights

Updated: Sep 7, 2023

We are thrilled to share our recent adventure with you which took us to the charming GuidePoint Pharmacy in Pine River, Minnesota. You might be wondering why we would visit a pharmacy, but this trip had an intriguing twist. Our mission was to uncover an old-time soda fountain rumored to be nestled within the confines of this seemingly ordinary local pharmacy. So, we embarked on a short drive north from Nisswa, Minnesota, to uncover this hidden gem.


GuidePoint Pharmacy is situated at 200 Barclay Ave, Pine River, MN 56474. At first glance, it may appear as just another local pharmacy, but it holds a rich history and an enticing story that we are eager to share with you based on our recent visit.

Our Visit:

Upon arriving at the pharmacy, it was immediately apparent that this was no ordinary drugstore. The façade featured a striking array of large, tall windows and a welcoming entrance. As we stepped inside, we were greeted by an eclectic assortment of items, including gifts, clothing, games, merchandise, candy, and more. The walls were adorned with antiques and relics from the building's history and the local area. To our left, we discovered the crown jewel of the establishment: the old-time soda fountain, complete with its original stools. While we marveled at the fountain and explored the store, we had the pleasure of meeting the owner, Lisa. Interestingly, Lisa had just assisted a customer in the pharmacy section, highlighting the unique combination of pharmacy services and delightful treats that GuidePoint Pharmacy offers.

History of the Building:

Our conversation with Lisa and subsequent research* revealed the remarkable history of the building. Constructed in 1903, it initially housed the town's first bank, known as the First State Bank (The old vault is still located in the basement). Approximately a year later after the building was built, a druggist set up shop in a portion of the building. In 1919, the bank transitioned to the First National Bank of Pine River. Over a century, the building has served various drugstores, along with Ole and Lena's Sweet Revenge Restaurant. We also learned that the building once hosted a basement barber shop and the Pine River post office. Interestingly, the large pillars that once adorned the building's front now mark the entrance to the old entrance at the Pine Ridge Cemetery. The list of businesses that once occupied the building includes First State Bank, Hourigan Drug, Pfeiffer Drug, Ole and Lena's Sweet Revenge (Bar & Restaurant), and now, GuidePoint Pharmacy.

History of the Soda Fountain:

The old-time soda fountain at GuidePoint Pharmacy is the original one from the previous Pfeiffer Drug. Due to changing ownership and evolving regulations, the soda fountain and counter have undergone several relocations within the building over the years. However, within the store, you can still discover the original counter and parlor that have stood the test of time. According to Lisa, although the counter's top has been replaced with a new one, a portion of the original countertop can still be seen near the modern cash register. As previously mentioned, the stools in the parlor are original. Lisa mentioned that in the past, there were more stools positioned around the parlor area. However, due to spatial constraints, not all of them could be accommodated. She did mention that all of these additional stools are still safely stored in the basement, ensuring that they haven't been lost to history just yet. Soda fountains were popular in drugstores and pharmacies across the United States in the mid-19th century. Pharmacists and soda jerks would skillfully mix carbonated water with syrups, fruit extracts, and other ingredients to create a wide range of refreshing and therapeutic beverages.

Lisa's Dream:

Lisa, the owner of GuidePoint Pharmacy, has a background in pharmacy work, having previously worked for Pfeiffer Drug in Pequots Lakes and then Lakes Area Pharmacy. After her tenure at Lakes Area Pharmacy, she decided to pursue her dream of managing her own store. In 2019, Lisa and her husband purchased the vacant Ole and Lena's and began revitalizing the building to recapture the feel of a general store and a local pharmacy. She collaborated with GuidePoint Pharmacy to handle the pharmacy operations. The pharmacy officially opened in 2020, and in the summer of 2022, they unveiled the general store and soda fountain.


GuidePoint Pharmacy offers an array of treats and soda fountain specials. Their menu includes sundaes, fountain sodas, phosphate sodas, and ice cream. During our visit, we indulged in the phosphate soda, river turtle special, and the exquisite White Chocolate Raspberry Ice Cream soda, a signature creation by Lisa herself.


Our visit to GuidePoint Pharmacy in Pine River was an unexpected journey through time and flavors. This hidden treasure combines the charm of an old-time soda fountain with the convenience of a modern pharmacy. We highly recommend stopping by for a taste of history and a sweet treat or two. GuidePoint Pharmacy is more than just a pharmacy; it's a captivating story waiting to be explored. Lisa has done an outstanding job in resurrecting a piece of history, a time when pharmacists and soda jerks held their place in the spotlight.

GuidePoint Pharmacy Pine River Website:

GuidePoint Pharmacy Pine River Facebook:


  • Monday - Friday: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

  • Saturday: 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM



Historical Photo Credits:


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