Medco Guide To Moving To St. Louis

Now that the Express Scripts’ acquisition of Medco was approved (surprisingly without any caveats), I’m going to guess that a lot of employees are in one of four positions:

  1. I just made a ton of money based on my vested options, and I’m not going to work for the new organization (by my choice);
  2. My job is safe, and I work in the field with clients so no real impact;
  3. My job is likely being cut so I need to find a new job without triggering my non-compete; or
  4. My job is safe, and for some… I have to move to St. Louis.

The people in the grey area that are uncertain are the people that are probably the most anxious.  And, of course, some of this is happening to the Express Scripts’ people also where there are overlapping jobs.

Since I’ve been out looking to move for my new job, I have some idea of the basic types of questions that those employees looking to move have, and I haven’t found the information that easy to get.

So, here goes with two caveats – (1) this is my biased view after 19 years here and (2) St. Louis is not NY:

Pharmacies: Generally, the majority of pharmacies in town are Walgreens, but you won’t have access to them.  CVS is building a presence here, but you’ll likely go to the grocery store, big box, or independents.

Grocery Stores: The town is dominated by two local chains called Schnucks and Dierbergs.  There is a Whole Foods and a Trader Joes.  There are a few Shop and Saves.

Workout: There are lots of chain and small gyms around town.  If you haven’t been to one, you should look at the Lifetime Fitness in West County.

Restaurants: St. Louis Bread Company (Panera to you) is headquartered here and is everywhere with free wi-fi.  There are lots of Starbucks.  Some of my favorites (non-chains) include Yia-Yia or Charlie Gittos or Cardwells or Bristols.  You should try Crown Candy in the city and Ted Drewes for deserts.  (I also really like Silky’s in West County.)  [I’m obviously not a foodie.]

Places: You’ll hear people talk about “the Hill” which is an Italian area in the city.  You’ll hear about Clayton which is the one business area outside downtown.  You’ll hear about West County, South County, and North County which are just like the names (counties around St. Louis city).  You’ll hear about 40, 70, 44, 270, and 170 which are the highways.  You’ll hear about Forest Park (which is our version of Central Park).

Vacation: The two Missouri vacation places you’ll hear people talk about are Branson and Lake of the Ozarks.

Casinos: There are several casinos around town.

Smoking: Smoking in restaurants was banned a few years ago.

Other Big Companies: A lot of the big companies like Anheuser-Busch and Ralston have been bought, but they still have a big presence here.  Emerson Electric is here.  SSM Healthcare is here.  Ascension Health is headquartered here.  Centene is here.  Enterprise Rent-A-Car is headquartered here.  EdwardJones, AG Edwards, and Scottrade are all here.  Citibank has a large presence here as does Mastercard.  Build-A-Bear was started here.

Colleges: Washington University (WashU) and St. Louis University (SLU) are both here in town.

Areas to Live: I would say that many people from Express Scripts management live in West County (Chesterfield, Wildwood, Ellisville) which is where I’ve lived most of my time here.  There are lots of transplants out here.  Traditionally, most people from St. Louis will live east of 270 in Clayton, Ladue, Frontenac, Webster, Kirkwood, or in the city (see Delmar Loop area or Washington St. downtown).  Some other areas where people will live include St. Charles or some people in Illinois.  If you like a new house with lots of square footage, you can get that in West County or other areas farther.  There are even a few new subdivisions being built by Pulte homes.

Golf: If you like to golf, there are lots of places to go.  I really like Tapawingo and Peveley Farms.  There are also many good clubs which can be joined for a reasonable fee like St. Albans or Forest Hills.

Schools: The public schools are very good (at least from what I know out here in the Wildwood/Chesterfield area).  There are also a lot of private schools with a huge emphasis on Catholic schools.

Things for Kids to Do: There are lots of great places like Purina Farms, Six Flags, Dave & Busters, City Museum, The Magic House, Grants Farm, and of course…the Arch.  Additionally, there’s the zoo and the Science Center.

Sports: Of course, you have the Rams, Cardinals, and Blues.  There is no NBA.  (Tickets are probably a lot easier to get here than in NY.)

Places to Shop:

  • Chesterfield Mall
  • West County Mall
  • The Galleria
  • The Valley (Chesterfield)
  • Frontenac
  • Fleet Feet (for runners)

Surprises:

  • If you go south in Missouri, you’ll see armadillos.
  • The first question that many people will ask you is where you went to school.  (They mean high school not college which allows them to quickly stereotype you.)
  • There is wine made in Missouri (although I can’t vouch for quality).  You can do a bike tour stopping at multiple wineries which is fun (and maybe dangerous).
  • Here we fry our ravioli to make toasted ravioli.  You can also get lots of gooey butter cakes and cookies.
  • Another big food favorite here is pork steaks (which are actually quite good).

More information:

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