Happy Birthday Sefgrove Chemist
It's not often that you get to celebrate the 45th anniversary of an independent high street business. Sefgrove Chemist on Westow Hill has been in the same family and serving our community in Crystal Palace since 1976.
We caught up with head pharmacist Shinali to wish Sefgrove a happy birthday and find out more about what's in store for Sefgrove's next chapter and the changes she and her family have seen in Crystal Palace during the last five decades.
Sefgrove: On the Sunny Side of the Street.
Crystal Palace's true sense of community has been a consistent feature through the years.
Shinali remembers CPFC matches drawing huge crowds to the area, busy St Patrick's Day celebrations and right up to today where we've seen the community pull together during the pandemic and throw themselves behind local projects and icons like the restoration of the open-air stage in Crystal Palace Park.
As well as looking after our community during the pandemic with advice, medical supplies and delivery of medicines for elderly, vulnerable and shielding people, Sefgrove, together with Eastern Cuisine and other local community volunteers were important supporters of the essential outreach work of the Paxton Green Foodbank and Timebank volunteers.
The pharmacy has been in the frontline in 2020/21 and continues to be so. They are a local collection point for free Covid19 Lateral Flow Tests for members of the public and local businesses.
Soon they are hoping be able to offer in-store assistance on lateral flow tests for those who need extra support, once they have received their approved equipment and PPE for their consulting room.
What's Sefgrove's recipe for staying on the High Street all this time?
Shinali says: "It's all about moving with the times, but above all people really value our knowledge, the quality of our advice and the way we make it accessible in simple language.
We pay so much attention to staff training. We like to go above and beyond. New recruits often comment how much new information they learn on the job when they arrive, compared to working in other chain pharmacies."
As hopefully, we are emerging from the peak of the crisis, Sefgrove is making plans to be part of a regular seasonal vaccination service, alongside the annual flu vaccines they offer already, hayfever treatments and travel vaccine clinic. They are expanding clinical services they can offer onsite to customers, using private treatment rooms. They are also able to offer the optional chickenpox vaccine for children. Expect to see more space devoted in-store to these services in the future.
They have new partnerships with suppliers, including vegan and cruelty-free skincare brand MooGoo and are looking to enhance the range of products they can offer in store and offer something different to supermarkets and discount chains.
Here's Shinali again, with her mum Daksha back on duty and lending a hand.
We wish the whole team a very happy landmark birthday month and an interesting journey to the half-century point and beyond.