A familiar face from Todd’s Independent Grocer in Haliburton will soon be opening her own pharmacy in the Beer Store plaza.

Lauren Wilson, who comes from hearty entrepreneurial stock, is planning to launch Haliburton Village Pharmasave in July.

With contractors, and help from family and friends, Wilson is now transforming the former Cordell storefront to her new place of business.

Touring the work in progress, Wilson points out where the dispensary will be at the back, a clinic room for vaccinations, another for counselling, and an expansive gift shop, as well as accessible washroom and room for staff.

Wilson said she’s heard people question the need for another pharmacy in Haliburton and replies, “we do need more independentlyowned pharmacies, essentially built on roots in the community, and somebody that is going to stay here long-term, that’s the factor that sets me apart.”

Her dad is Paul Wilson, her grandfather started Haliburton Lumber. There are lots of entrepreneurs in the family, including sister Hilary Ramsay who does interiors, and brother Jeff, a realtor.

Lauren was born and raised in Haliburton, left for the University of Guelph, and then the University of Toronto for eight years, coming back in 2005. It was about that time that Todd’s Independent Grocer opened its doors. Wilson “stepped essentially into a brand-new pharmacy.”

She’d been there nearly 20 years, a fulltime job that suited her as she raised four children. As the two sets of twins, now 11 and 14, become a bit more independent, it was time for a change. Her husband runs Greenscapes Haliburton.

Lauren said becoming a business owner was “several years in the making. I did my first 20 years as an employee. I’m going to do the next half of my career as a business owner and the children are old enough now that I don’t have to be home all the time.”

For now, there is a makeshift desk in her living-room. She has watched the seasons change. She said time flies by when planning this venture. It’s “exhilarating. I’m really excited about where things are going.”

Lauren said that post-COVID, she found her central nervous system was overstimulated in her place of work. She wants to create an atmosphere that is more nurturing for herself and patients. She is creating what she calls “somewhat of an extension of my own home, a calm, serene, place. I can choose my music, lighting. colours, the smell. I’m going to spend a lot of time there so I want to make sure it’s some place I’m entirely comfortable.”

She already has a wholesale account with Living Libations. She wants to feature local vendors in the gift shop, as well as Canadian-made products. She’ll look to host healthcare professionals, such as foot care for diabetics, hearing tests, and perhaps offer a space for telemedicine.

“I feel like a lot of my patients are going to continue to trust me with their healthcare needs, as they have for two decades, and my level of service and the personal connection I have with these patients. The support has been overwhelming on my social media.

“I really do love being a pharmacist, I just needed to change my environment.”

Haliburton Village Pharmasave will be at 25 Hops Dr. and open Monday to Friday 9 a.m. – 5.30 p.m. Saturday 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and closed Sunday.

Contact via info@ haliburtonvillagepharmacy.com, @ haliburtonvillagepharmacy (Instagram), and Haliburton Village Pharmacy on Facebook.