After over 30 years of professional service to the Coonabarabran and district community, Michael and Maria Deep have sold their pharmacy and commenced a well-earned retirement.
Coonabarabran Chemist, fondly known as Deep’s Pharmacy, was officially taken over at the end of February by Hesham Mobarek, who also operates pharmacies at Nambucca Heads and Watsonia, Victoria.
Mr Mobarek said he firmly believes in the importance of community pharmacy and the value it adds to local communities.
“Investing in local communities is important to us and we saw great potential in the business and are really excited to be part of the Coona community,” Mr Mobarek said.
“The vibe in Coonabarabran is wonderful- everyone has been extremely welcoming and being a Melbourne man it’s nice to escape the cold for some sunshine!”
Mr Mobarek completed his Bachelor of Pharmacy at Monash University in Melbourne in 1984 and has been an independent pharmacy owner since 1991.
He has been married to his wife, Mona, for 32 years and they have two children and “one beautiful granddaughter who is two-months-old".
The pharmacy will continue to operate as Coonabarabran Chemist and Mr Mobarek said he has plans to “spruce up the store” with updated fixtures and fittings.
Staffing, however, will remain unchanged, athough the team will soon by joined by Laura Lucia, as pharmacy group manager.
“They are a great group [of staff] with an amazing customer-service focus. The team are keen to continue to service the local community as they have been for many years,” Mr Mobarek said.
“We will continually work on team development and training to better serve the Coona community.”
Michael and Maria Deep moved to Coonabarabran from Sydney in 1984 after purchasing the then, Soul Pattinson pharmacy from Alex and Di Sharam. Mrs Deep said, once settled, Coonabarabran quickly became “home”.
Reflecting on their 32 years in business, Mr Deep said the pharmacy had seen many changes since they took over in June 1984.
“In those days we had two cash registers in the shop and one typewriter in the dispensary,” Mr Deep said.
“These were replaced in 1988 by computers, which were meant to make our lives easier, but I feel that running the pharmacy has become much more complicated since 1984.”
Mrs Deep said, as healthcare professionals, it had been rewarding looking after the health needs of the local community.
“Before we sold, it occurred to me that in some cases we were looking after four generations of the one family. That’s an amazing feeling to think that all these people, from the very old to the very young reply on us for their health needs,” Mrs Deep said.
Mr and Mrs Deep both agreed that Coonabarabran was and still is a great place to bring up a family.
“Our kids still talk about how much fun it was growing up on our farm and have fond memories of the many camping trips to the Warrumbungles,” recalled Mrs Deep.
“We will really miss looking after all our wonderful customers, but after nearly 32 years, the time has come to retire. We will also miss our amazing staff, who made our job so much easier.
“We intend to do some travel and pursue other interests which we were unable to do when we were working full time.
“We wish Hesham and all the staff at Coonabarabran Chemist all the best for the future.”
Maria and Michael Deep with new owner of Coonabarabran Chemist, Hesham Mobarek.