New owners for Hasselfield Drugs

Hasselfield Drugs has been a mainstay in the business district of Deloraine for over 100 years. The pharmacy has been in the Hasselfield family for three generations — first Charlie, then Don and lastly John. In the last year or so, the retirement bug was nagging at John and the opportunity to sell the business was at hand. Leslie Palmer graduated from the University of Manitoba Faculty of Pharmacy in 2008. Her husband Matt was teaching at Waskada School at this time so Leslie committed to work at Hasselfield Drugs Ltd. for one year upon graduating.  

“At that time we weren’t sure of our long-term plans, however, I quickly realized that independent community pharmacy was where I wanted to practice. I really enjoyed getting to know my clients as well as the local physicians and can’t imagine having more professional satisfaction elsewhere.

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Matt graduated from Waskada School in 1999 and pursued his education at Brandon University where he earned his Bachelor of Science in 2005 and his Bachelor of Education at the University of Manitoba in 2007. He taught in Waskada School for two years — Math, Phys. Ed, History, Outdoor Ed, and Science. After two years in Waskada, Matt secured a teaching job at Deloraine School where he teaches Science, Pre-Calc/Applied Math, Physics, Biology and Chemistry.

Leslie didn’t know at the start of her career that she wanted to become a business owner. “When I first started out I was focused on my responsibilities as a pharmacist and wanted to get really comfortable with that before I considered owning the business. I remember having dinner with Don and John and Susan one evening several years ago and John brought up the subject, but at that point it seemed a distant possibility! It was after I started managing the pharmacy that Matt and I began thinking seriously about it. It was a good fit for us both professionally and personally; we both enjoy our jobs in Deloraine and, having grown up in the area ourselves, we knew that we wanted to raise our children here should the opportunity present itself.  We began discussions with John in 2015 and came to an agreement in December of 2016. I am so excited to embark on this venture!”

The pharmacy has undergone several facelifts in the past few years. “The renovations that I made to the dispensary this past February were a collaborative effort between John and I with input from the staff as well. We wanted to make sure we had a distinct pick-up and drop-off area to allow for more privacy of sensitive discussions, as well as to streamline wait times for patients.”

“Due to feedback from the community, we have expanded the front store offerings by bringing in more toys and games and we plan to stock some giftware items as well. We have some initiatives we would like to implement in 2018.” These include the possibility of the front store being open on Saturdays (not the dispensary) and opening through the lunch hour.  Most of these changes will not be implemented until Leslie is back from her maternity leave.

Leslie says the store pharmacy name will remain as Hasselfield Drugs out of respect to both Don and John Hasselfield. “Hasselfield Drugs has been a heritage business in this community for over a century and it didn’t feel right to change it.”

Leslie has had the unique opportunity to work for a few months with her sister Marlee, also a pharmacist at Hasselfield Drugs. “I was thrilled when Marlee decided to become a pharmacist and hoped we would someday have the opportunity to work together. Since I left on maternity leave we’ve only worked alongside one another for a few months but I am eager to work with her again. “We are having a grand re-opening at the pharmacy on Wednesday, June 21 to celebrate the transition and thank everyone for their support,” concluded Leslie.

© Deloraine Times & Star

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