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Store History

The original pharmacy on Salt Spring Island was opened on the site of the present downtown location in the early 1940's. Over the years the business carried on under two primary owners until 1963 when Les and Sue Ramsey purchased the full store.

Over the years Les and Sue's small drug store has seen many changes:

In the late 1970's Les joined the Western Drug Mart chain and changed the name of the store from the Ganges Pharmacy to the Ganges Western Drug Mart.  Shortly after this change, the Western Drug Marts were amalgamated with the United Drug Stores under the new name of Pharmasave.

Les' older brother and sister-in-law, Keith and Helen Ramsey, became partners in the business and re-located their family from Carnduf, Saskatchewan to Salt Spring Island as well.

In 1986, Les saw the need for increased floor space and the decision to build the present building was made - nearly doubling the amount of selling space in the store.

Keith and Helen moved to Massett on the Queen Charlotte Islands in order for Keith to become the pharmacist for the local navy base.

In 1991, Les offered his niece, Maureen Ramsey, who was also a pharmacist, the opportunity to become a partner in the business.  Under her guidance, the store continued to flourish.  Successes included being named Pharmasave Store of the Year in 1994.

In 1996, Maureen decided to retire for health reasons and Les and Moureen offered her share of the partnership for sale to Linda Ramsey (Les' youngest daughter and her husband, Gary Utter).

Highlights of 1998 and 1999 included winning another Store of the Year award and the successful launch of a second location, the Pharmasave in the Uptown shopping mall. In the Fall of 2004, the downtown location received a major facelift, including a full-service cosmetics section and dispensary renovations.

Over the past 48 years, the store has seen many changes. In March 2006, we sadly lost our founding partner, Les Ramsey, after a long illness.  Sue, Gary and Linda continue on in his absence, striving to provide one constant standard of excellent service to all Gulf Islanders and to anyone who enters the stores.

Canada's Community Pharmacy