Live like a Champion!
The History of Champion’s Pharmacy and Herb Store
Champion’s Pharmacy and Herb Store has been a Memphis tradition since 1981. The family-owned and operated business is known for its personal custom care, herbal remedies and old-time and hard to find medicines. We have a holistic approach to medicine. We provide health and wellness consultations and the healing of common ailments through herbs, herbal supplements, home remedies, homeopathic remedies and much, much more.
Some of our most popular products are our Champion Kits. They contain a special blend created just for our soaps, lotions, shampoos, salves, teas, etc. that we compound ourselves to treat over 30 common illnesses.
Our Founding Father
Dr. Charles A. Champion is a licensed pharmacist and an internationally recognized master compounder in herbal medicines with over 60 years of experience. Dr. Champion was born in Memphis, Tennessee in 1930 and raised in Greenfield, Tennessee which is where he developed his love for humanity. He is a 1955 graduate of Xavier University College of Pharmacy and shortly after obtaining his degree, he was drafted to the United States Army. He served as a pharmacist in Germany during a two-year tour of duty. When he returned to Memphis, he began working at John Gaston Hospital pharmacy. There, he began solidifying his place in history as the first African-American pharmacist to work in a Memphis hospital. After 12 years at John Gaston, Dr. Champion took a job at Katz Drug Store and became the first African-American pharmacist hired by a chain in the city.
While there, he continued to gain experience and knowledge that he later utilized to open Champion’s Pharmacy and Herb Store in 1981.The first location was at the corner of South Third Street at Mallory before moving to the current location at 2369 Elvis Presley Blvd.
Dr. Champion is a beloved member of the Memphis community and a trusted healer. Many Mid-South families contain as many as three generations that come to Champion’s Pharmacy and Herb Store to get the advice and the products they need.
Throughout his career, Dr. Champion has received many prestigious awards. They include the 2022 University of Memphis Arthur S. Holman Lifetime Achievement Award and 2022 Memphis Heritage Trail Trailblazer Award. The same year, the House of Black Churches at Memphis Theological Seminary established the Dr. Charles A. Champion Healthcare Award and made Dr. Champion the inaugural recipient. He also received the American Pharmacists Association (AphA) 2010 Bowl of Hygeia Award for Outstanding Community Service as a Pharmacist, the 2015 Tennessee Pharmacists Association (TPA) Shelby Rhinehart Public Service Lifetime Achievement Award and 1987 TPA Pharmacist of the Year Award. He received the1996 Memphis Theological Seminary Dr. Henry L. Starks Distinguished Service Award, the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Health Profession Award, and the National Pharmaceutical Association Outstanding Service Award. Dr. Champion has also been the topic of numerous articles and news segments.
A Family of Champions & Our Amazing Staff
Dr. Champion married the former Carolyn Bailey in 1958.Carolyn Bailey Champion is the daughter of Walter and Loree Bailey, who were the owners of the historical Lorraine Hotel at the time Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated. Before that tragedy, The Lorraine Hotel was buzzing with business during the 1960s and was one of only a few hotels that provided African Americans overnight accommodations. This upscale motel offered guests, both black and white, affordable rooms and home-cooked meals in a friendly, clean environment. Better still, with STAX recording studio located nearby, you could expect to see artists and composers such as Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett and Eddie Floyd as guests at the motel. Her family’s legacy lives on because it is now the site of the world renowned National Civil Rights Museum.
The Champions are partners in life, love, and business. When they opened Mrs. Champion served as Champion Pharmacy’s business manager. They also have two daughters, who inherited their father’s love of medicine. Dr. Charita K. Champion is a 1988 graduate of Xavier University College of Pharmacy and Dr. Carol L. Champion (also known as Cookie) is a 2003 graduate of The University of Tennessee College of Pharmacy. A third daughter, Chandra Champion-Walker worked at the store as a certified pharmacy technician for many years before her untimely death in 2014. Her daughter, Jessica Lynne, is also a part of the family business and assists with accounting, marketing, and sales.
Dr. Champion has two long-tenured technicians at the store as well. Margaret Brown has worked with him since 1970 and Ella Kizer since 1999. The Champion family business is still going strong and is strategically positioned to continue the customer-focused, family-friendly culture of Champion’s Pharmacy and Herb store long into the future.
Champion's Pharmacy and Herb Store is located at 2369 Elvis Presley Boulevard, less than ten minutes from Graceland, the former home of the King of Rock and Roll.
Dr. Charles Champion passed away on Saturday, January 21, 2023. He was 92 years old.
The Champion Mission
We provide a holistic approach to living a healthier life.