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Locally owned pharmacy wins small business of the year

Recipient urges others to support local small business

YORKTON – The Medicine Shoppe was selected as the Small Business of the Year last week by the Yorkton Chamber of Commerce at the Celebrate Success Awards.

“I was a finalist in two categories- for customer service and community involvement,” said Tricia Klassen, owner/operator of The Medicine Shoppe, adding, “from all of the eligible finalists they choose a small business of the year, and so I was chosen for that category.”  

Klassen grew up in Esterhazy and went on to further her education at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon where she graduated from the college of Pharmacy and Nutrition in 2004.   

Prior to opening the Medicine Shoppe in 2018, Klassen had spent 14 years working for Shoppers Drug Mart Pharmacies in Brandon, MB and Yorkton. 

Klassen said she chose to open the Medicine Shoppe in search of a better work-life balance. 

"[It] doesn't always happen as a business owner, but I'm still more in control of my schedule and my time," said Klassen, adding "my husband Brad works here as well doing front store merchandising, books, deliveries and whatever I need him to help with." 

Klassen said she was surprised with the win. 

“The evening was a bit disappointing as I didn’t win in the other categories,” said Klassen with a smirk, “but then they saved [the small business of the year award] for the end and kind of turned around the excitement.”   

As well as providing pharmaceutical services to the community, Klassen said the business sponsors multiple organizations. 

“We focus on both physical and mental health in the community,” said Klassen, “so we support Yorkton Minor Hockey, Senior Curling League- we’re a sponsor for that, and we also sponsor York Lake Golf Course.” 

“Every year, with the exception of last year, we do a mental health walk in conjunction with SIGN (Society for the Involvement of Good Neighbours) and their walk-in counselling clinic,” said Klassen. 

Klassen, who is also a member of the Yorkton Lions Club, said she is willing to support or volunteer with anyone who requests it. 

Klassen took the opportunity to thank her family- the people who have supported her over the last four years in what she referred to as an “uphill battle”, noting the last two years were especially busy. 

“Helping patients navigate [the pandemic] and providing vaccines and doing what we could to help our community”, said Klassen, noting, “people started to realize that shopping small was not only maybe a bit safer during the pandemic, but they also wanted to support the smaller businesses in the community that are also supporting the community." 

Klassen urged people who want to support small businesses to check out her store on Hamilton Road.   

"If you haven't been to the Medicine Shoppe, stop by," said Klassen, adding, "if you're able to – support all the local businesses that are part of the chamber and involved in keeping our community growing."