Why people matter and why we must keep it in mind to future-fit our pharmacy industry and businesses
Established in the 1980s, Blooms The Chemist was founded on a single important proposition: to put people first.
Inspired by this mission, four passionate Pharmacists came together to build something greater than themselves; a community-based Pharmacy network that could support and foster young pharmacy ownership to improve the health and wellbeing of all Australians.
Today, Blooms The Chemist has grown to 112 stores nationally; growth that has enabled passionate and entrepreneurial Pharmacists to become essential healthcare providers in their local communities and successful business owners.
Our ethos is simple – we believe it’s our job to support people in our local communities to make good health choices and help reduce health inequity and injustice. It’s why we exist. This gives our Pharmacists and their teams even greater opportunities to have a meaningful impact.
Sally Whiting, a Pharmacist-owner with two stores in Mudgee and a Director of Blooms The Chemist, following in the footsteps of Caroline Diamantis, who was an integral part of the brand’s early growth, believes the brand is progressive and embraces diversity.
“I joined the group in 2011 as a business owner with a good friend of mine, Alex, at a time when there hadn’t been many females before us . It is definitely diversifying and something we continue to foster and be mindful of to ensure that everyone’s provided the same opportunities.”
Blooms The Chemist’s growth has been organic, due to the culture of the group. Key to this has been recruiting the right people who exemplify the values, which in turn leads to behaviours.
“The behaviours actually give you a sense of culture and they give you a real sense of belief in what you’re doing,” says Whiting. “It is our culture that differentiates Blooms The Chemist from other pharmacy groups.”
Whiting says people’s attitudes to community pharmacy are changing, recognising Pharmacists are essential healthcare professionals.
“In regional areas like Mudgee you can wait up to a month to see a GP, so access to healthcare is more and more limited, especially the further you move from metropolitan areas.
“Community Pharmacy is essential for people to access health advice and companionship,” she says. “There are lots of important qualities Pharmacists need in a community pharmacy setting, such as empathy and compassion.”
Patrick Matthews, Pharmacist-proprietor, Director (Blooms The Chemist) and son of co-founder Jim Matthews, says “We deliver within our communities and we give back to our communities.
“We have charity partners, we put on events and special days, and you see the relationships our customers have with our pharmacy staff.
“Now, it’s a process of ensuring that the legacy that we’ve been handed from our founders continues to be passed on to future generations of Pharmacists, and we continue to build a better future for the people in our communities and the people in Blooms The Chemist.
“Blooms The Chemist’s network continues to grow, with the brand actively recruiting Pharmacists. Core to that growth is continuing to retain a community based full-service pharmacy model.
“Our people are really proud of our brand, to be a part of it, and for the opportunities is has presented. We are fulfilling our purpose and playing a pivotal role in the journey to achieve health equity and accessibility.
“If you are considering ownership we invite you to be part of building a better future with Blooms The Chemist,” he concludes.
Hear more from Sally, Patrick and one of our founders, John Thorne, on how internal culture has been integral to the growth of the network.