Ron Kumar is surrounded by his staff

Business: Sense of community is what made a difference for local pharmacy

Peoples Drug Mart celebrates 25 years in business in Sooke

It’s just a few days over 25 years ago when Ron Kumar rolled into Sooke to take over operation of Peoples Drug Mart. He hasn’t regretted that decision and continues to be enjoy the community and his place in it.

It all started out when he was working in a convenience store and he found he enjoyed the customer service aspect and he then applied the science to it.

“I made that decision in Grade 11,” he said.

Kumar grew up in Vancouver and his first job as a pharmacist was in Duncan where he stayed for two years before deciding to come to Sooke. He managed the drug store for awhile before he bought it.

“The previous owner saw Sooke as a growing community and saw the need for a second drug store,” said Kumar. “I think I always wanted to maintain the idea of a small town pharmacy, to make a difference. It’s not just a job, it’s being part of the community. I can contribute and make a difference.”

Being a part of the community is important to Kumar and that is the rewarding part for him.

Peoples  Drug Mart is a little different than other drugstores in that Kumar took training in compounding medications.

“It is specialized in the sense that you are making it from scratch like in the old days. It’s value-added but it is a niche market.”

In that niche market, Kumar makes a lot of veterinarian medications.

What does the next 25 years hold for Ron Kumar?

“Probably take care of things on my bucket list,” he said. Motorcycling was mentioned.

But above all Kumar said the reason he is here is because of the rest of the staff at Peoples.

“It’s the side of the mountain that sustains life. The team has been great,  it’s not about me, it’s about the front line people. Sooke is an amazing community I’m so glad I ended up here.”