By Steve Smith
Steven Hui and his family have owned Pharmasave for over 30 years. It is hard to believe, if you ask him because the time has flown by. Steven arrived to Revelstoke in 1984 to work at Donaldson’s Drugs (currently Kidz on Main and Revelstoke Florists on the 200 block of Mackenzie Ave) after recently graduating from UBC with a degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences.
His parents were friends with the mother of the previous owner, Murt Moody, thus was contacted when a job opportunity became available as a pharmacist at Donaldson’s. In early 1987, Murt and Tak Moody were contemplating retirement and helped Steven to purchase the business. In October 1987, Steven and Dorothy became the new owners of Donaldson’s Drugs. Dorothy joined Steven, moving from Golden in the fall of 1987.
In May 1988, the store was rebranded to join the Pharmasave chain which currently has over 650 stores across Canada. Steven made the decision to build a new store and move to its current location in 2002. This move presented some challenges as the previous store had a daily, revolving door of walk-in clients. The new store and location didn’t have the foot traffic, but became more of a destination retail business/pharmacy — with way more parking! Joining the Pharmasave franchise did offer its benefits with buying power and a strong private label program; and to the Hui family’s credit, it maintained that small town pharmacy feel. Revelstoke has supported Pharmasave through four generations of families and Steven and Dorothy have been very grateful for this.
Some of the highlights for Steven’s career have been: being one of the first from his graduating class to buy a pharmacy business, getting to know and serve four generations of families in Revelstoke, taking part in multitudes of fundraisers and community events, and having made solid connections with customers that are now good friends. He has been incredibly grateful to have faithful and loyal staff with several who have worked with him for over 25 years and many others a decade or more.
Pharmasave supports and sponsors so many events and charitable organizations in our community. If there is a volunteer board out there, until recently, you could probably find Mr. Hui sitting on it offering his venerable advice. Steven believes that the business community can have a positive impact in this community and be a catalyst for change. He has seen the town go through numerous growth cycles and has stayed true to the format of being a small-town and family-oriented business.
Most of us will feel a huge loss as Steven and Dorothy head off into ‘semi-retirement’. He has been the go-to guy when you have a sick child or adult in your care and just don’t know what to do. He has been there to calm us down, reassure us, and discuss what we can try to help the situation. He and Dorothy have been on the front-line for years, providing accessible, reliable and knowledgeable information for us when we need it. He has volunteered and contributed to many developments in our town’s history and culture and they will be sorely missed. But, he’s not going away. You may see him taking the odd shift at Pharmasave and he will continue to work on some projects with the charitable organizations he supports and may be joining Maritime Kitchen Party as a lead guitarist — because you may not know this — but he can shred the guitar!
Steven and Dorothy are leaving behind a wonderful legacy. They have treasured the relationships they have created with other health care professionals in the community, co-workers, thousands of customers and this has made their job gratifying and rewarding daily. They love the new energy in Revelstoke and see many positive changes ahead for our city.
Remon Saad, as most of us know, is the new owner and manager. Remon comes from Calgary and has a young family of two children — his third child is due in May. He is eager, enthusiastic and is excited to be here in our community and encourages everyone to come in and introduce themselves. He, like the Hui family, sees the potential in this community and wants to be a part of it for decades to come.
Looking ahead, who knows what may be in store for Steven and his family. Personally, I think he’s earned some rest. I like many of you, am privileged enough to call him a great friend and am incredibly happy for what may lie ahead for these wonderful people who’ve given so much to us.
So, on Saturday, May 5th, saunter over after the Farmer’s Market and check out the 30th anniversary celebration from 10am -3pm. Say hello to Steven, Remon, Dorothy and the outstanding staff. Shake their hands and say thanks to them for all they have done. Greet Remon and show him how great our City is! This is your opportunity to be a part of something special … just like they are. See you there Revelstoke.