Arana Hills Pharmacy celebrates 40 years

Rod Garozzo in the dispensary in 1980

195,000 hours – the amount of time the Arana Hills Day and Night Pharmacy, now TerryWhite Chemmart Arana Hills – has spent servicing the health needs of the Arana Hills community. A significant milestone for any pharmacy business, but none more so than for current co-owner, Rod Garozzo, who first joined the pharmacy as a young and enthusiastic Pharmacist Manager when owners, John Dunsdon and Harry Wippell, opened its doors for the first time on July 16 1980. 

As Rod reflects on that day more than 40 years ago when he started out, he is amazed at how far the business has come, whilst being proud of the way it has developed over the years to become an integral and innovative part of the Arana Hills community. 

‘I feel very privileged indeed to be able to celebrate 40 years in business. It doesn’t seem to be a common occurrence these days, but it has only been possible by having tremendous teams of dedicated employees over the years. Many of whom have been with me for more than 15 years, and even a few have reached the 25 – 30 year mark,’ said Rod.

The pharmacy has been operating on average 13 hours a day, 7 days a week, since 1980 when its first owner, John Dunsdon, recognised the need for an extended hour’s pharmacy in the community. The pharmacy has since been trading 94 hours per week, Monday to Friday, only closing its doors on Christmas Day. The only other interruption to trade occurred in 2000 when a fire tore through the pharmacy leaving only a pen and safe remaining. It’s a remarkable achievement that its other current co-owner Karen Brown says is testament to a highly motivated and committed team.

A fire tore through the pharmacy leaving only a pen and safe remaining in 2000

‘I think it is phenomenal that a locally-owned small business can reach 40 years, and it wouldn’t have been possible without John’s vision, Rod’s hard work and dedication, the amazing pharmacists and pharmacy assistants, past and present, and of course, our loyal and valued customers. It was great going through Rod’s photos over the time and seeing how much the pharmacy and the industry had evolved. I am excited to see what we can achieve in the next 40 years,’ remarks Karen.

Karen’s long-term partnership with Rod began in 2008 when they joined forces alongside Blaine Woods to run TerryWhite Chemmart Samford – itself a highly successful pharmacy business. In 2018, Karen joined Rod in the Arana Hills venture after then part-owner Michael Garrett departed the business. Michael had been Rod’s business partner since 2007 – himself starting out as a pharmacy manager and working his way into ownership like Rod – when founding owner John Dunsdon passed away in 2007. The legacy of John, Harry and Michael, together with Karen and Rod’s innovative vision has turned TerryWhite Chemmart Arana Hills into the recognisable and long-standing health destination. It is today housing The Clinic Hub, The Beauty Hub, and Capsule Cafe.

As I come to the later part of my involvement, I feel I have continued the community service objectives that my father instilled in me when he began in 1956 at Garozzo’s Pharmacy Mitchelton. I am very pleased to see Karen take the reins and bring forward new ideas, without losing sight of our role as a community health professional. Of course, our success has been made possible by the countless customers that have remained loyal to us. Many are still in The Hills District and continue to support us today. Some are part of the next generation and this is a very rewarding experience for me personally. So congratulations to all that have been part of this wonderful journey, and may it never end,’ said Rod. 

Happy 40th Arana Hills and here’s to another 40 great years making a difference to the health of your community!

Rod Garozzo and Karen Brown

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