Herne Bay locals are rallying behind their long-serving pharmacist who is being booted out of her premises by a landlord who wants to take over the business.

Geraldine Phillips has been given two weeks' notice by landlord Jon Sandler to quit the Herne Bay Pharmacy, where she has worked for 19 years and been the owner since 2002.

Ms Phillips has shared the health and personal lives of the community and built a strong connection with doctors and staff at the nearby Herne Bay Medical Centre.

Donna Meadowcroft described the pharmacist as a "second doctor", while other customers talked of her "generosity" and "going the extra mile".


It came as a shock when Ms Phillips received a fax from Mr Sandler's lawyer on August 18 saying she had until August 31 to move after her efforts to renew the lease were ignored.

She said Mr Sandler had made a "small offer" for the Jervois Rd business, including the database, telephone number and stock. She understood it would be run by one of his relatives with Mr Sandler becoming a partner in the business.

While she said Mr Sandler had legally done nothing wrong, she was not impressed at her treatment after always paying the rent on time and fitting out the shop three years ago.

Mr Sandler did not want to discuss the case, saying he was still in negotiations with Ms Phillips' solicitor and confident of finding a satisfactory resolution.

Ms Phillips said she was in the process of acquiring other premises in the area.

Helen Rollinson, who runs a nearby hair salon, said she phoned Mr Sandler to tell him what she thought of him.

Sharon Watson, a tenant of Mr Sandler's for three years before moving her florist shop, said: "With Geraldine he has left everything to the last minute. They say karma comes and I think this is it for him."

Mr Sandler is the property developer who plans to move a villa at 158 Jervois Rd to build a four-storey concrete commercial and residential apartment development on a narrow corner site fronting John St, a residential heritage zone.