BUSINESS BEAT: It’s all about service for revamped pharmacy

Jubilee Pharmacy goes back to its roots as an IDA Rexall store

Pharamacist/owner Scott Monette’s Jubilee Pharmacy has undergone some major changes this year.

The changes are coming, bit by bit, at Jubilee Pharmacy.

Owner-pharmacist Scott Monette sits in a small, but private consultation room separated by sliding doors from the pharmacy on one side and a revolving stockroom door on the other. Until recently, he says, clients trying to have a private conversation about their health had to contend with staff carrying retail stock through the pharmacy into the store.

With renovations nearly complete – and the store’s grand “reopening” weekend in the books, such minor annoyances look to be a thing of the past. It’s all about ramping up the customer service factor at the Fort Street and Richmond Road store, Monette says.

That comes in two forms: building stronger health-care relationships between pharmacists and clients, and being able to supply the kind of items customers regularly ask for, such as gluten-free products or specialized retail goods.

“We’re trying to become a four- or five-star pharmacy,” Monette says of his vision.

He sees pharmacists – Jubilee has five, with three on at all times – playing a greater role in the health-care regimen of clients. As such, he is creating a “professional services division” to offer health consulting services as a paid option – essentially a second set of eyes in addition to a doctor.

“It’s a shifting paradigm in the health-care profession,” Monette says.

Another shift for Jubilee Pharmacy, which began life across the street in 1939, came when Monette decided to return the store to its roots as an independent IDA Rexall outlet. The move gives him more decision-making power, a factor he says customers appreciate, especially when they need problems solved quickly.

A veteran pharmacist who bought out former owner Wayne Booth in May after seven years in the store, Monette says consistency of staffing has helped stem any customer concerns about changes to the branding from Pharmasave to IDA Rexall.

“Our biggest strength is customer service,” says Bill Kennes, retail manager at this location for nearly 33 years. “We really try to instil that in our staff.”

More than a few of the 25 staff members between the store and pharmacy have 20 years under their belt. It’s that kind of longevity that Monette hopes keep his customers coming back.

– Jubilee Pharmacy, 1775 Fort St.,

250-595-1471, jubileepharmacy.ca.

Twin Otter maker doubles up at B.C. Export awards

Sidney-based Viking Air won a pair of honours at the recent B.C. Export Awards gala. The company, one of just two aircraft manufacturers in Canada, was named winner of the Exporter of the Year award, and the Premier’s Award for Job Creation. Viking sells its planes and parts to 18 countries and projects its total exports to hit $400 million within the next four years. Known for its successful revival of the renowned de Havilland Twin Otter, the company has 570 employees and increased its employment by 380 per cent between 2009 and 2011.

Credit union’s growth plan targets Capital Region

A new branch due to open this month in Tuscany Village, and a 4,600-square-foot location at Fort Street and Foul Bay Road in a renovated former Blockbuster Video, slated to open next spring, mark Island Savings Credit Union’s latest expansion plans for the region. The new branches,which will create 13 new jobs, are part of a three-year, $15-million plan that coincides with Island Savings’ revitalized brand and redesigned layouts. Farmer Construction and Re:fine Custom Building are providing building and project management services for the projects.

Bastion Square pub unveils new expansion

Garrick’s Head Pub, at 69 Bastion Sq. in the Bedford Regency Hotel, nearly doubled its seating capacity with recent renovations, going from 80 to 168 seats. The historic watering hole, which dates back to 1867, boasts 44 beers on tap, including 22 brewed here. The pub, managed by Jason Nowak, will remain open until the new year, when further upgrades and expansion of the kitchen take place. Upon reopening in February, Nowak said, the pub will be able to host private functions, feature beer-pairing dinners and will accept reservations.

Names in the business news

Outgoing Vancouver Island Health Authority CEO Howard Waldner accepted the honours for VIHA as one of Canada’s top 100 employers last month. Mediacorp Canada Inc. placed Waldner’s organization on the top 100 list for a fourth straight year. It was the lone health authority on the list … Bay Centre manager Darlene Hollstein is into her second month as chair of the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce executive board. She succeeded John Espley after the chamber board’s first meeting Oct. 31. … The chamber also needs a new receptionist, after Erin McDougall was named the new membership services co-ordinator.

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