South Port residents gained a neighbourhood drugstore this week with the official opening of the Medicine Shoppe’s new location inside Quality Foods.
“It’s been something we’ve looked forward to for the south end of Port Alberni. We feel like this side of town hasn’t had a lot of pharmacy services since Zellers went down a few years ago,” said Port Alberni Medicine Shoppe owner and pharmacist Larry Johannessen.
“It’s giving someone an ‘at-home’ option. A lot of people live here, they walk here and it’s a long walk down the [10th Avenue] dip.”
The two companies also make a great fit, according to Medicine Shoppe Canada president Terry Stychin.
“The kind of care we give to our patients lines up exactly in parallel with the Quality Foods model and the high level of customer service they give to their customers,” Stychin said.
Quality Foods president and co-founder Ken Schley agrees.
“In Port Alberni, we were looking for better ways to serve the customer. This gives us the opportunity to add another service,” said Schley.
The new pharmacy is located just inside the store’s main doors to the left, sharing space with the flower shop.
Port Alberni is the first Quality Foods to get a Medicine Shoppe, Schley added, and additions to other stores will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Johannessen opened the first Medicine Shoppe in Port Alberni on Southgate Road in 2007 and the second one in 2012 at the then-new Maple Way Urgent Care Clinic.
He sees continued investment in Port Alberni as a no-brainer.
“I talked to someone who just came from Victoria saying that people are scrambling to get here so as far as I’m concerned Port Alberni is a wonderful place to invest in. The future is here.”
The new location will have a different, more modern feel than the other two, Stychin said.
“This is our second new store design in B.C.,” he said. The old design is 23 years old and it was time for an update.
“It’s a more contemporary look and feel. This has got the new modern fireplace, the brick and the very contemporary feel behind the counter. It’s a more clinical, customer-centred look and feel.”
EDITED: The flower shop is still open in Quality Foods, although the space has changed a bit with the addition of The Medicine Shoppe. We regret the error in the original story.