Bob Kalaf sells Cooranbong Pharmacy and Compounding after 30 years at Avondale Shopping Village

BOB Kalaf has sold Cooranbong Pharmacy and Compounding 30 years after founding the business.

Pharmacist Hamish Graham, 34, officially acquired the business this week.

Mr Graham had worked for Mr Kalaf for seven years, most recently as manager of the pharmacy.

"Hamish is the best employee I've ever had," Mr Kalaf said.

"I could have put the business on the open market, but to be able to sell it to Hamish meant everything to me."

Mr Graham said he was rapt to continue the legacy Mr Kalaf had created.

"Bob has made the decision to retire, and in doing so has given me a great opportunity," Mr Graham said.

The pharmacy was known for its quality of personalised care, and Mr Graham said he planned for that to continue.

The sale comes three decades after Mr Kalaf opened the business at the Avondale Shopping Village he helped to create.

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Mr Kalaf had previously worked as chief pharmacist at Sydney Adventist Hospital.

He recalls there was a tin shed, a petrol station, and not much more at the Cooranbong site in 1989.

"But I felt there was opportunity here," he said.

And he was right. Residential and commercial growth in the district continues apace.

But some things haven't changed, and that included the advice Mr Kalaf offered Mr Graham when he handed over the keys.

"It's the same advice I gave Hamish when he started working here, and that is when anyone walks in the doors, think 'What can I do to ensure that person comes back in the door?' And that can mean anything from offering them a kind word, to giving them a little box of chocolates," Mr Kalaf said.

Mr Graham said the pharmacy had a clear objective. It was a pharmacy that didn't stock shelves full of perfumes, gifts, or products the pharmacists didn't believe in, he said.

"We focus on doing pharmacy in the correct manner. Behaving in a virtuous fashion is important," Mr Graham said.

"What really matters is making sure that people are getting adequate care, and that they have access to it when they need it."

Mr Kalaf said in retirement he would most miss the people - the staff and customers - who had become his friends.

Being a pharmacist meant being able to help people in need, he said.

"That's a great feeling. I couldn't have imagined myself in any other industry. There's a real joy in being able to help them."

In January, Mr Kalaf was awarded the medal (OAM) of the Order of Australia in the general division, for his service to the Cooranbong community. He is a former president of Cooranbong Chamber of Commerce.

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