Vince’s inspiration to expand retail pharmacy into the realm of health foods and wellbeing products is also greatly inspired by his own personal interest.
“Having a healthy lifestyle is a strong passion of mine and being able to share this gives me a great sense of fulfilment and is something I take pride in.”
Although there are already twelve WholeLife stores across Australia, three of which are in the Cairns and Tablelands area, the brand is catching on quickly with another nine stores set to open this year.
“Our brand is expanding as we speak. Each store will still have its own personality, as it’s important to offer what’s suited to the range of customers.”
Another important factor that has been integral to the success of the business, according to Vince, is the diverse range of both pharmaceutical and health-testing services that are offered to customers.
This includes compounding medicines in a dedicated laboratory for customers requiring specific medications that are not made commercially, such as veterinary and paediatric formulations. Diabetes screening and risk assessment, flu vaccinations and opioid substitution programs are some of the other services offered, as well as absence from work certificates that can be issued by the pharmacist, saving on a trip to the doctor.
“Pharmacists are on the front line and we service the community in many ways. People are able to get some of their health care needs met at their local pharmacy and help to reduce the burden on the health care system, which is especially important when we have extra pressures such as the Covid-19 outbreak. Retail pharmacy is an evolving industry; there are always more services getting added to what we can provide to people.”
Vince credits his training at JCU to giving him not only the pharmacy skills but also the people skills needed to operate his family company.
The pharmacy degree at JCU really emphasised people skills, how to be mindful of people, show empathy and understand that we are all different. I love being able to build a rapport with my customers so that they feel comfortable in discussing their health with me. I credit a lot of my values as a pharmacist to my education at JCU, which offered such a nurturing environment in which to learn.
JCU pharmacy graduate Vince Pappalardo
For Vince, choosing to study pharmacy at JCU hit the target in many ways.
“Pharmacy just felt like the best fit for me. My father was a well-known community pharmacist in Cairns, so to be able to study pharmacy close to home was a fantastic opportunity. The reality of staying local has served me well in developing my skills and laying the foundation for my professional career journey.”