Reid Kimmett has a singular focus on the health and wellness of the community. In fact, his pharmacy’s entire philosophy is based on giving back.
Kimmett’s parents ran Two Pharmacy until their retirement last year. Kimmett joined the family business in 2012 and is now the owner and operations manager. From the start the pharmacy in Cochrane has focused on two people’s health in every transaction: the health of the patron and a charity that would receive part of the proceeds from each purchase.
“I grew up watching my parents, who owned the pharmacy, work,” says Kimmett. “I have a Bachelor of Commerce and an MBA. After my undergrad I worked in finance, but I didn’t feel like I was giving back the way my parents did.” He joined Two Pharmacy knowing it was a much better fit for his community-orientated mindset.
“We make a donation to a local charity for every transaction we do,” says Kimmett. “We support community events, children’s charities, and people that need assistance with the essentials of life.”
When COVID-19 closed businesses, Two Pharmacy was fortunate to be deemed essential.
“It definitely was a turbulent time,” Kimmett says of the early days of the pandemic, “but we are an essential service and have been able to be there for our customers. At first, during the crisis, I struggled to think of how to best support the staff. Then I thought of a quote talking about how a crisis could be one’s greatest moment, not one’s greatest disaster. I decided to look at the situation as a way to strengthen bonds with the staff.”
Kimmett installed safety measures and procedures to protect staff and shoppers. In addition to drop-in shopping and curb-side pickup, Two Pharmacy went online.
“We had talked about an online store for years but lacked the resources to make one,” says Kimmett. “Then a staff member that already did our social media informed us that she was looking for web design opportunities. We now have about 3,000 items on our new site with more on the way. This allows us to support those that choose no-contact shopping.”
The pharmacy, which has been in the community for 30 years, includes a natural market that carters to unique needs and dietary preferences such as gluten free and plant-based.
“Through COVID-19, people realized that while major grocery stores were being picked over and there were shortages of items, smaller shops like us had eggs and other essentials, and that shopping local is a way to meet their needs.”
During the pandemic, Kimmett enjoyed seeing how quickly the community pulled together.
“The crisis reinforced how caring people are in the community. People stepped up to provide free items for people in need, did grocery runs for neighbours, etc. There are a lot of good people in our community."
Nerissa McNaughton is a freelance writer and regular contributor to Great West Newspapers. This story was funded by the Facebook Journalism Project Supporting Local News Coverage of COVID-19 Program via the Local Media Foundation.