Big win for Mooloolah chemist

By Marina Gomide

IN A huge win for the little guys, the small Mooloolah Valley Guardian Pharmacy has taken home the National Pharmacy of the Year at the 2022 Guardian Gala & Awards in Gold Coast on Tuesday, 11 October.

Going up against some big city names, including pharmacies from Perth, Hobart, and Adelaide, the small local store took home the win due to their business planning, customer service and patient care. According to store owner Ruth Zerner, 56, the big force behind the win is the Mooloolah community.

“I’m the one that runs the business, but it is all a team effort, and I wouldn’t be able to do it by myself, but the Mooloolah residents are the true winners of this prize”, Ruth says.

While acknowledging the community, she does also say how much it means to her to be recognised for all of her and her team’s hard work. “It’s always nice to receive recognition for our efforts of trying to provide people with the best service and care possible and knowing that it pays off because they trust us”, she says.

Ruth has worked at the local pharmacy for over 20 years, becoming the owner in 2008. She says she would never be where she is if it weren’t for her long-time mentor Marek Malter, the Maleny pharmacist. She is also thankful to Tim Fitzgerald from the Landsborough pharmacy, for providing her with her first job and introducing her to the Sunny Coast hinterland area.

Originating from a dairy farm on the countryside, she felt right at home in the Maleny dairy community, a place she has called home for over 30 years. Following the dairy path, she met her husband, a Swedish dairy farmer, while he was visiting Maleny and ended up living in Sweden for four years.

During her time abroad she got a degree to work as a pharmacist in her new country, overcoming the language barrier and becoming fluent in Swedish. Now her and her husband operate the prized pharmacy together, with him serving as a jack-of-all-trades while she handles the customers and medications.

Tracey, Krystal, Jenny, Carmen and Lisa