After serving the community for many years, the much-loved co-owners of Raumati Pharmacy are moving on.
David Brazier and Simone Greig are passing the reins to Martin Lowis, formally of Life Pharmacy Coastlands.
David bought into the pharmacy 32 years ago, with Simone Greig joining the team 22 years ago and buying in eight years later.
"We operate like a small, friendly, family pharmacy, and Simone operated the same way that I like to operate, so we joined up," David said.
"It's been a fantastic partnership.
"Most partnerships don't work and this one has worked so well."
"We've made it work really well but it's also been easy to make it work," Simone said.
"It's been an equal partnership.
"Due to David's good name I didn't want to muck anything up when I became an owner.
"It was a good business, why do anything to make it go wrong - after all it's not about who owns it but about what service you give."
"It's about looking after customers and they become more than customers, they become friends and you know so many by name, we're really going to miss that," David said.
"It will be hard stepping away from our customers," Simone adds.
While waiting for the interview Kāpiti News overheard a customer saying to David, "I think my nana knows you", a prime example of how well known David and Simone are in the community.
With bureaucracy and red tape becoming more intense over the years, David and Simone both feel it is time to step away to spend time with their families.
"There have been a lot more red flags coming into play with legislation and red tape, we've been pulled away more and more from doing customer-focused work and we just thought it was timely to step down," they said.
"Our customers need us forefront and we have been taken away from that."
Running the pharmacy has been busy, stressful, pressure work and both want more time with their children who are growing up and moving away, with the flexibility to travel (once coronavirus restrictions have calmed down).
Their highlights have been the relationships with their customers, gaining the loyalty of their customers and training up new pharmacists.
"Seeing our interns go from not knowing much at all to walking out the door qualified, it's like having your children go out the door, we're very proud," Simone said.
"It's been great also having consistency in staff over the years - that's been huge for us, and we would also like to thank all our loyal customers over the years."
The pharmacy is now being managed by Martin Lowis who took over on April 1, in the first week of lockdown.
The transition was intended to be smooth with David and Simone sticking around, working weekly shifts for six months so the customers could get used to the new management, but the lockdown meant a few late nights, some of which reached 1am sorting out prescriptions as everyone stocked up for the month.
"I relocated to Raumati about a year and a half ago and have been managing Life Pharmacy Coastlands," said Martin.
"This is a great opportunity to start with co-ownership again.
"The corporate pharmacies have their advantages but this is more of a step to doing my own thing again.
"There are so many changes in the pharmacy industry and you never quite know if you are going to make it on your own, especially for a foreigner.
"I love the community feel and the setup.
"It's nice to get to know people and to spend time with them – well not as much over the last few months, but I am starting to now.
"The idea of it all is fantastic, this little shop has got it all and David and Simone have done such a great job of building it up."
Originally from South Africa, Martin first spent time in Alexandra when he arrived in New Zealand getting registered and used to the New Zealand system.
"I'm keen on getting to know people and getting to know my customers.
"It's about helping people and I'm looking forward to building relationships with them."
There have been a few benefits from the lockdown with Martin having time to assimilate and integrate himself into the business before getting to know the customers.
"Is a fantastic place, I love a good challenge and it will take me a while to fill the shoes of David and Simone."