KERROBERT — In their commitment to invest in the community of Kerrobert, and its future, Bick’s Drugs are preparing to move into a ready-built brand-new store building.
The building they currently operate out of has been a pharmacy for well over a century, having been built in 1911. The original store, the McMullen Drug Store, was owned and operated by W.J.M. McMullen. It was subsequently sold to Neil Morden in 1927.
In 1935, Bick’s Drugs came into being when the store was purchased by Clarence Bick. Clarence’s son, Don Bick, came on board in 1964, and the father-son duo operated the drug store together until Clarence’s retirement. Don continued to provide pharmacy care to the community until the torch as passed to current owner, Ron Bazin, in 2006.
Ron and Tina Bazin decided that since Bick’s Drugs had provided pharmacy care in Kerrobert for 71 years, and the location is somewhat of a landmark in the community, they retained the name.
Bick’s Drugs currently employs six staff members. In addition to pharmacy care provided for the community of Kerrobert, this business also offers household items, giftware, health care products and more.
Greg Bick of Unity, son of Don Bick, shares some fond memories growing up as a kid of parents who owned and operated the long-standing business in Kerrobert.
“I think the best memory has to be the peanut machine, right at the front counter, with the lights not only showing off its wares, but warming the peanuts, too. I remember the turntable spinning around with the feature nuts on it. Good thing you couldn’t see into it from behind, as I would have eaten all the profits. I remember getting really fresh cashews that were picked only a week before we got them at the store."
Bick also says Bick’s Pharmacy was located on a hill and the back door was up 20 concrete steps from the back of the store. When freight arrived, he and his family had a wooden ramp that lay on the stairs to slide the freight down to another person who had to stop the containers. Some of the big paper goods boxes got flying pretty well. Bick, a retired math and science teacher, said he did the math and this freight accelerated at about 1/2g:5M/s squared.
“Eventually we built a shed up there for storing freight which saved sending it all the way down to a scary little basement,” says Bick.
Bick also recalls Midnight Madness events in town. Right before Christmas, the stores stayed open until midnight one night. Bick says it felt “very cool” being there so late when it was dark and everyone was feeling so festive.
“You can take the boy out of the pharmacy, but you can’t take the pharmacy out of the boy. So, get yourself some dextromethorphan hydrobromide for that winter cough. Take it BID,” says Bick.
Into the Future
The Bazins say there is a continual need to modernize in order to provide up-to-date and quality pharmacy care. They felt a new building was the most appropriate way to move forward in accommodating current and future pharmacy standards.
The new building provided much excitement in Kerrobert when it arrived Oct. 21. For the immediate future, the Bazins say the old store will be used for storage. The former location will be available for purchase if anyone can envision a new life for the historic building.
The new store isn’t in operation yet, however the business owners had hoped to have it open and ready by the end of 2021. The flooding in British Columbia has resulted in delivery delays for internal furnishings. This means they are now likely looking at February as the earliest move-in date.
The new building is roughly the same size as the current store. It will include a modern pharmacy with a counselling room for private consultation services, along with a designated compounding station/area.
“A modern facility will enable us to continue providing Kerrobert and area residents with quality pharmacy care for many years to come,” says Bazin
“Bick’s Drugs has been a staple in our community for over 50 years," says Mayor Wayne Mock says,
"It is very exciting that Ron and Tina have decided to put up a brand-new building across the street from their existing store. The building looks amazing, and I am excited for them and the town for having this in our community.
"The future of Kerrobert is bright, and Bick’s Drugs will remain a pillar of our business sector for many years to come.”