After almost 30 years as owner of Pharmasave in Rimbey, Carl Ziegler is moving on to a new and different chapter in his life.
The new path he is about to embark on leaves him filled with mixed emotions.
“It’s been a great career,” he said. “I’d do it all again.”
While Ziegler, the father of four adult children, recalls putting in some long hours and dealing with the stress of being a business owner, he is adament that “the good outweighed the bad.”
Chatting comfortably over coffee, Ziegler looks back on his career; a career he found satisfying and rewarding.
A farm boy who grew up in the Stettler area, Ziegler graduated from the University of Alberta in 1988 with a Bachelor of Science and Pharmacy. Armed not only with his degree, but a sincere desire to help all the customers he came in contact with, he soon landed a job as a pharmacist in Wetaskiwin.
During this time he became acquainted with Jack Walker who owned the Rimbey IDA.
Walker, who was 73-years-old at the time, had his eye out for a buyer for his Rimbey store. One day, after learning that his pharmacist was leaving, he approached Ziegler about purchasing his store and taking over as the head pharmacist.
The rest of the story is history.
“I was 24-years-old when I bought it. It was a deal made with a handshake,” Ziegler said, smiling.
Ziegler recalled the closing sale being made on a Friday when Walker, without further ado, handed him the keys to the store and the safe. Ziegler took over the business the following Monday.
“The business was a lot smaller then, but, still, it was overwhelming,” he said.
It didn’t take long, however, for the friendly and caring young man to fit right in to the community.
And Ziegler himself was very happy doing what he loved to do.
“I love helping people,” he said. “It’s very fulfilling.”
As well as preparing prescriptions and helping customers purchase the best over the counter drugs for their ailments, he recalls helping them purchase scooters that would meet their needs.
“They were all smiles when they left,” he said. “I always felt good about that.”
The pharmaceutical industry has experienced many changes over the years, Ziegler noted.
“It is very different now than when I first started,” he said. “And it’s always changing.”
However, one thing never changed he said, and that was the relationship between Pharmasave, Rimbey Value Drug Mart and Rimbey Medical Clinic.
“It was an excellent combination and it allowed us to outperform (health care) in most other small towns.”
Ziegler is confident the new owners, Rubicon Pharmacies Canada, will continue to provide customers with great service. He noted they do practice their motto of Care before Commerce.
The company has 67 stores, including stores in Didsbury, Carstairs and Rocky Mountain House.
Carl Ziegler invites everyone to join him at Pharmasave on Sept. 29 and 30 for coffee and cake.
“I really want everyone to stop in so we can visit and chat and reminisce. I’ve truly been a very lucky man. The community has been very supportive and I’m appreciative of that.”
While he isn’t sure what the future holds, Ziegler plans to stay in the area.
“I’m not retiring. I’ve too much energy for that. I don’t know what I’ll do, but one thing I know for sure. It will involve people.”