When Bud Massender opened Cates Medicine Centre in the early 1990s, his operating base of Bowen Island was a small town. Today it’s still a small town, and accordingly Cates is the kind of place where locals drop by for medicine, to buy shampoo, or have a chat with the folk behind the counter. “Our customers feel close to us,” says co-owner Shahzad Mirsaeidi. “And we have a great range of friends who visit us daily, from kids and young families to seniors.” There’s a singular method to the way Bud and Shahzad operate. “Attention to detail no matter what customers want from us,” the latter says. “That’s one big advantage of being a small business in a small town: we have the luxury of time to devote to everyone who visits us.”
“Our customers keep stating something that summarizes the products we stock,” says Shahzad. “They tell us, `You have a bit of everything’. It’s true, and we pride ourselves in our selection of goods.” With the perpetual goal of not forcing locals to ferry to the mainland for supplies, Cates is also adept at sourcing products that may not be available in-store. “We order goods through various companies – and from UniPHARM, of course – and some items arrive just a day after they have been requested,” says Shahzad. “It’s part of our overall mission to provide customers with a personalized pharmacy experience.”
As a people-friendly pharmacy, Cates places special emphasis on counseling. In fact, its staff brings all its expertise to bear in providing personalized service. “For example, should customers so desire, we will examine their medication profiles with their physician and make recommendations for treatment options,” says Shahzad. “Collaboration is key for us: Bowen Island has three doctors and other specialists, and we liaison constantly to ensure that locals receive optimum health care.” That also means working outside the confines of the pharmacy. Cates works closely with the Orchard Recovery Centre, and it also offers a methadone maintenance program.
Cates Medicine Centre Pharmacy is licensed by the College of Pharmacists of BC. The pharmacy manager is Shahzad Mirsaeidi. Pharmacy practice issues may be reported directly to the College of Pharmacists of BC via their website.
College of Pharmacists of BC Website