It’s not everyday that someone opens a pharmacy in an underserved, small community. But for Dawood Zulfiqar and Stuart Alp, that is exactly what they are doing – twice! Both pharmacists opened their Innerkip location in May, and are cheerfully opening their second location in Embro within the next couple of weeks.
After working in more of a corporate role in bigger cities, owners Dawood and Stuart decided to make the leap into entrepreneurship with a focus of serving communities that are underrepresented. Neither Innerkip nor Embro residents had access to a local pharmacy with most travelling to Woodstock and Ingersoll in order to be served, for some, their life saving medication.
Providing affordable medications is a priority to the owners of the Innerkip Family Pharmacy. They continue to offer new products that they see fit for their local community, a trait they plan to carry through to their newly acquired Embro location. Medications can typically be supplied within one business day, and they are working on sourcing the essentials such as bread, milk, and pantry items so residents can rely on them to meet their basic shopping needs.
Stuart and Dawood have been friends and colleagues for over five years. They worked together in the corporate world and Stuart even coached Dawood on how to study and pass his exams. Both of them live in local, small towns. Representing the local areas that had been underserviced was something imperative to both of them so when Embro opened up the perfect location, they jumped at it.
The pharmacist duo has been grateful of the support they have received from their community and they are happy to be a part of fundraising efforts to give back. For their Grand Opening of the Innerkip pharmacy, they partnered with the local Lion’s club and donated all the food for a barbecue that raised over $800, which has now become an annual event. Currently they are fundraising for the local food bank. Their continued effort to serve their community also includes showcasing local small businesses in their storefront.
Their commitment to the town of Innerkip and Embro continues as they have increased their hours from 9am-7pm so that commuters can still make it in to get their prescriptions and necessities. With the provincial governments increase in pharmacists roles, there are now 19 minor ailments that they are equipped to treat including urinary tract infections, dermatitis, and more. You can find them on the PharmaConnect app where you can check on the status of your prescriptions, order refills or submit new prescriptions. Alternatively, you can check them out at their 2 locations, the Innerkip Family Pharmacy is located at 95 Blandford St unit 3, Innerkip and their soon to be location in Embro at 104 Commissioner St, Embro.