Cherry Street was founded by Dr. Wenbo Liu in 2016 as a means to make the health care system more streamlined, affordable, and accessible for at-risk and underserved communities.
Driven by his ethos to do well by doing good, Wenbo’s creativity and problem-solving abilities helped him create a pharmaceutical business model that can provide eligible patients up to 100% off on prescription co-pay costs.
But Wenbo didn’t always have the dream to open up a pharmacy.
Here’s Wenbo explaining his journey, skills, and the reasons why he believes his leadership will ultimately make Cherry Street Pharmacy a household name and a great investment for those looking to get more involved in our company.
“I’ve Always Been an Entrepreneur”
My entrepreneurial journey started when I was in junior high, when I started my own tutoring club. Over time it grew to a decent size, and eventually, my tutoring club became a tutoring business called Teacher IQ where I would hire grad students to teach high school and junior high students math, science, and SAT prep. At one point we had over 20 grad students traveling to different tutoring locations and centers.
Though the business was successful, I had my eye set on going to medical school. I earned my BS in Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics from the University of Arizona, then later went on to earn a Doctorate in Pharmaceuticals from the University of Hawai’i.
“I Saw Inefficiencies and Inequalities in Healthcare That I Wanted to Change”
During my time studying medicine, I saw many inefficiencies in the healthcare industry and realized that every industry so far has been disrupted except for pharmacies and medicine. You still have to go to your primary care physician, get a prescription, drive to the pharmacy, wait for your medication, and drive home. This entire process is time-consuming and overwhelming, especially if you’re feeling as sick as a dog.
On top of that, the rising cost of healthcare is leaving more people without access to primary care physicians and life-saving medications. Too often I’ve heard stories of people foregoing utilities or food to pay for their prescription bills. I’ve also read stories of people traveling to Mexico, where medication is easily a quarter of the price compared to the US. Even worse, I’ve read stories about people skipping medication because it was too expensive, which later landed them in the ER.
My entire life these inefficiencies have hit too close to home. While I was in college my mother struggled with heart health issues, and chose not to have surgery so she could pay for our household bills.
I very vividly remember wanting to make a change in the status quo that prevented my mom from getting the surgery she needed—and I knew I could make it happen.
Medical school was going to take too long for me, so I opted to start a new business, one that was going to make an impact on healthcare and disrupt the pharmacy model as we know it.
“In 2016, I Launched Cherry Street Pharmacy With It’s Sister Non-Profit, Cherry Care”
With my Doctorate in Pharmaceuticals in hand and a lot of determination, I successfully opened the first Cherry Street Pharmacy in Tulare, California.
Rather than focusing on big affluent cities with tons of competition, I focused on finding underserved communities in more rural areas. Tulare was an ideal location where I knew my pharmacy model could help people have access to the prescriptions they needed.
Shortly after, I launched Cherry Care--the non-profit behind it all.
Through the Cherry Care program, eligible Cherry Street Pharmacy patients can receive up to 100% off prescription co-pays. The nonprofit also works with the local community and makes donations year-round to other non-profit organizations that need our help.
Cherry Street’s pharmacy also offers other financial support and incentive programs to maintain good health. For example, our prescription coupons and Cherry Street Points are available to everyone. Cherry Points are a unique system designed to incentivize people to take care of themselves. Every time their vitals improve, they refill their prescription on time, or get a vaccination, they earn Cherry Points which can later be exchanged for cash-back that they can spend as they please.
“Our Pilot Location Generated $3 Million in Revenue While Saving Our Patients Thousands in Prescription Costs”
These three systems working together have saved our patients over $100K in prescription savings alone in 2020, while also growing the business. By providing patients the financial help they need, we’ve also been able to expand quickly while saving on marketing costs.
Related: How We Saved Our Patients Over $100K in Prescription Costs in 2020
“Now I’m Working Diligently to Open Our Second Location in Cutler, California, and Kickstart The Telemedicine Arm of The Business”
Cherry Street Pharmacy’s mission is to not only make healthcare more accessible but also more streamlined. We’ve already built an at-scale in-house medication delivery service and we’re actively working to finish building our telemedicine platform and install telemedicine booths inside our clinic.
Now, rather than visit your primary care doctor in person for a simple check-up and prescription, you can do so at your local Cherry Street Pharmacy. In one place and one appointment you can see your physician, have your vitals taken, blood drawn, and prescription filled.
Later in our roadmap, we plan on building out mobile units that can go to homes and give the necessary primary care for those who are too sick to leave home, don’t have transportation, or are bed-ridden. Then our prescription delivery will be able to drop off any necessary medication.
Our second location in Cutler California is currently under construction with a target launch date of March 2021.
“My Business Ethos is To Do Well While Doing Good”
I’m a firm believer that entrepreneurs are perfectly positioned to use their creativity and ingenuity to create businesses that use their platforms for good.
My first and foremost priority is to help those that need me, and thus, it’s Cherry Street’s number one obligation. That’s also why we’ve applied for B-Corporation status, which would classify our company as a Public Benefit Corporation.
There are millions of people I know who will benefit from Cherry Street Pharmacy and I’m working relentlessly to see Cherry Street expand across the country.
If you’re interested in getting involved and joining me on my mission, then read “The Top 2 Reasons to Invest in Cherry Street Pharmacy”.
I want to personally invite you to invest in Cherry Street on MicroVentures. You can get involved for as little as $100!
Together we can make a difference for thousands of people that need our support.
If you have any questions or would like to chat, reach out to me directly at email@example.com.