Time to hand over the reins

Making way: Sandra Harrison has been running the Wanda Beach Pharmacy for 31 years and is handing over the reins to new owner Yong Cao. Picture: Supplied.
Making way: Sandra Harrison has been running the Wanda Beach Pharmacy for 31 years and is handing over the reins to new owner Yong Cao. Picture: Supplied.

The Wanda Beach Pharmacy is about to get some fresh new faces in store while still keeping some of the familiar ones around.

The pharmacy has been a constant figure in Salamander Bay for over 30 years and is widely recognised for it’s friendly staff and the assistance they provide.

New owner, Yong Cao, is excited about the new business opportunity and looks forward to getting to know his new customers.

The challenge of upholding the pharmacy’s fantastic reputation is one that he takes on confident in his abilities to do himself and his staff proud.

Previous owner, Sandra Harrison, operated the Wanda Beach Pharmacy for 31 years and said it was time to move on. 

"I just thought it was time. The new owners will no doubt update the store and business and add new services, and include fresh ideas for the way pharmacies are heading,” she said.

Semi retired life for Sandra will include some time for relaxation but she will also be using it as a chance for self improvement. “I’ll be updating and furthering my clinical skills which are another side of pharmacy life,” she said.

Sandra said that while a fresh start is great, she will no doubt miss the store and her customers. “I’m sure the new owners will do a fantastic job following in our footsteps, and I’m very grateful to all my customers, without their support we wouldn’t have lasted this long,” she said.

Familiar Faces: Staff including Megan Cardow and Jenna Oake will still be on hand to help. Photo: Supplied.

Familiar Faces: Staff including Megan Cardow and Jenna Oake will still be on hand to help. Photo: Supplied.

Sandra said it had been a rewarding if sometimes taxing life being a pharmacist and focused on the partnership between pharmacists and doctors as they’re often the first port of call.

“Part of a pharmacist’s role it to refer people to a doctor when the person thinks its a minor ailment, but it’s actually quite serious. I had one customer say to me, ‘no matter how busy you are, you always take the time to check in’, which is nice”, she said.

The pharmacy’s beautiful location along Soldiers Point Road puts it in contact with a variety of people from tourists and the elderly through to mums and dads with growing families. 

“For both the holiday makers and the locals, anyone with itches, insect bites, coughs and colds, the pharmacy is usually the first port of call,” she said.

House calls have made up a significant part of the business and at times presented a variety of challenges to the Wanda Beach team. “It’s amazing the situations we have found ourselves in, pharmacy life is much more than just putting labels on bottles,” she said.

Sandra will make fewer and fewer appearances behind the counter over the coming weeks now that the business has sold, and as Yong takes over and begins to implement his fresh ideas for the business.