NS: Pharmacy First in Stellarton continues long line of family-oriented business

Amanda Jess, The News
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Coming from three different backgrounds of family-oriented business, it stands to reason Kimberly and David MacLean and Jay Poulain would open their own.

David and Kimberly MacLean and Jay Poulain are opening a new pharmacy on Foord Street in Stellarton, focusing on great customer service and patient care. Pictured from left to right are David, Luke, Kimberly and Tyler MacLean, and Jayden and Jay Poulain.

[STELLARTON, NS] - Coming from three different backgrounds of family-oriented business, it stands to reason Kimberly and David MacLean and Jay Poulain would open their own.

Their children are already calling Pharmacy First their own and it’s not even open yet.

“We all grew up in family businesses,” David MacLean, pharmacy manager, said. “I think our families are strong because of it.”

Kimberly and David think their children, Tyler and Luke, could learn from their endeavor. Having them involved also allows them to spend as much time as possible with them while they’re still young, David said.

David comes from a long line of farmers and a family name that’s well known for their strawberries, thanks to MacLean’s U-Pick in Durham that’s been operating for over 50 years.

Although from outside the community, Stellarton has always been important to David. His first job at the Irving gas station was in Stellarton, ensuring a strong connection to the town for him.

Since then, he’s gathered 12 years of experience in retail and now works at the Aberdeen Hospital.

His wife, Kimberly, accountant of the new business venture, and her family have played a large role in the community, operating McLaughlin’s Flowers for more than 100 years.

Kimberly’s role in the business was on the minor side, mostly involving sweeping the floors when she was a young girl. She also had her first part-time job at Sobeys in town.

Poulain’s tie to the community is an obvious one, with his namesake on the storefront directly across the street from Pharmacy First. 

Poulain’s Pharmacy was started by his grandfather in 1950, and was passed down the line.

Jay, front store manager and pharmacy technician, said he grew up in the store, and worked there on and off before he moved to Truro.

He returned to Stellarton five years ago.

Jay feels connected to the entire county, but has a special fondness for Stellarton.

“Stellarton is my home.”

Although there’s no shortage of pharmacies in the area, they said they have a particular vision for theirs.

Pharmacy First highlights their focus and commitment to providing the town they all love with a high quality of customer service and patient care.

“We wanted to choose a path of life where we’d be passionate about what we’re doing and give back,” David said about why they wanted to open a pharmacy.

He said as parents, they teach their children to help their community. Watching Tyler and Luke follow their advice inspired them.

“It was time for us to do the same,” David said.

All three partners are all looking forward to serving the community the best they can.

“The more I talk about it, the more excited I get,” David said.

He said there’s a perception that community pharmacies can’t compete with the big box store, but he thinks that’s false and is up to the challenge.

As well as filling prescriptions, they’ll also offer over-the-counter medication, first aid supplies, supplements, home health care products, prescription services for some ailments, and an accessible community room for whoever needs it.

The business is moving quickly. The planning has been in the works since December, and they took possession of the former Pictou County Shared Services Planning Commission building on Foord Street only two weeks ago.

They’re planning to open within two to three months.

Organizations: Aberdeen Hospital, Sobeys, Pictou County Shared Services Planning Commission

Geographic location: Stellarton, Durham, Truro Foord Street

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