Continuous Improvement: Tellier Pharmacy Thrives in an Evolving Economy

With a little forethought, leaders can create organizations that are agile, resilient, and consequently better equipped to experience sustained success. That’s exactly what Paul and Ruth Tellier are doing with their business in Bonnyville.

Image 1It was May long weekend in 1971 when Tellier Pharmacy opened its doors. Pharmaceutical items and veterinary supplies filled the shelves along with a film service centre and there was a dedicated staff to serve the customer’s every need. Now flash forward to 2016 the store has been modernized and the shelves are filled with slightly different products but one thing that remains the same is the dedication to serve the public. You can see the ways the business has adapted to the times without losing the core values of the business and are now celebrating 45 years of serving the community.  The Telliers are part of the fabric in Bonnyville well known for their quality and friendly service at Tellier Guardian Pharmacy.   The business has outlasted a few recessions and changing trends and through it all Tellier Pharmacy attributes its success to the willingness to adapt and strong community support.


Image 2It all started with Gerry and Jane Tellier’s vision to open a pharmacy that served the community and 45 years later Tellier Pharmacy continues to do just that.  Gerry and Jane were both pharmacists and started the business from scratch. Tellier Pharmacy became a founding member of Value Drug Mart in 1978 and continued operating as a Value Drug Mart until the summer of 2014 when they decided to switch to the Guardian banner.


Image 3The store has grown over time.  The original location is where Herbology is now located.  They expanded to include the General Store in the mid 70’s and moved down the street (to 1/2 of the current location) in the early 80’s.  Gerry and Jane’s son Paul became part owner in 1998 and then Paul and wife Ruth became full owners in 2007.

Paul’s story is a lot like many of the people in small towns, head off to university, graduate, plan to return home for a short time and then never leave. “I graduated from the Faculty of Pharmacy at the U of A in 1996,” explains Paul. “I intended to come home for a year to help my parents, but never left. Then Ruth and I became full owners eleven years later when dad (Gerry) retired.”

“We are firm believers in continually adjusting to the times and to our customer’s needs and so we began modernizing the store in May 2011,” added Paul.  “There were chaotic times with the construction process but in the end, we are thrilled with the results as we are now the proud owners of one of the nicest drugstores in Northeastern Alberta.  The new building was just a piece in the puzzle though, we also recognize the benefits of keeping product lines fresh and offering new services to our customers.  That’s why we’re constantly offering services like the new mobile app, medication reviews, and the new rewards program to better serve the community.”image 4

“We also realize how technology plays a big part in business these days,” explains Ruth Tellier.  “We saw a need for office products in the Lakeland and so we recently launched an ecommerce site-!  We are a single source for everything customers need to be more productive, including the latest technology, core office supplies, facilities products, furniture, and school essentials.   We offer a local angle that our competitors cannot compete with.  Each dollar spent outside our community makes another community stronger.  Shopping local keeps our community thriving!”

Tellier Guardian Pharmacy is your one stop shop for all your pharmacy and every-day household needs. At Tellier Pharmacy, you will find a wide array of personal health products and services along with many items not usually found at your local drug store.  There’s such a variety of merchandise throughout the store from housewares, clothing and gifts to cosmetics and home decor and even baby needs and toys!  “We pride ourselves on having a different kind of store,” said Paul. “We have a huge variety of merchandise – there is something for everyone in here!  We are always being told how people are glad that there is such a unique store here in Bonnyville.  We also have a dedicated staff that are integral to our success.   We would not be a long-serving business if it wasn’t for our staff.

There are so many amazing people that come to work every day with a smile and make the customer’s shopping experience at Tellier Pharmacy a pleasant one.  If you have a need, any member of our friendly staff is eager to help.  And on the Pharmacy side, there’s a fantastic team devoted to assist in all your medical needs.”

Paul and image 5his pharmacy team are a staple in the community for providing excellent customer care and earning the trust of the public.  Paul is a 2nd generation pharmacist with 20 years experience.  He obtained his Additional Prescribing Authority (APA) in 2015 and is also qualified to administer drugs by injection.  The other members of the patient care team include Sarah Waskiewich, a local Bonnyville resident, who started making bubble packs for Paul when she was just in grade 10.  She graduated as a pharmacist in 2015 and has been practicing at Tellier Pharmacy for almost a year.  She is applying for her APA and should have it by the fall.  Flavie Clet graduated from Pharmacy in the Philippines.  She immigrated to Canada upon graduation.  She spent 2 years in Canada before getting her Canadian license and has been on staff since September. Kayla Schultz is another local Bonnyville girl who went to U of A for Pharmacy.  She has just graduated and has written her licensing exams.

As an integral part of the community, the Tellier family has also been supporting community groups for generations by sponsoring various initiatives that strengthen the area including the Hospital Gala, a donation to Bonnyville Minor Football for their bus, many youth projects, 4H programs, the Bonnyville Pontiacs and just recently announced a $10,000 sponsorship towards the World Jr A Challenge coming to Bonnyville in December 2016.



In celebration of their 45th anniversary Tellier Pharmacy is having a Customer Appreciation BBQ on August 18th from 11-2.  There will be draws and an opportunity to see the World Jr. A Challenge trophy in person.  The BBQ is a great way to say thank you to the community that has helped Tellier Pharmacy thrive. image 6

Tellier Pharmacy – Celebrating 45 years of excellence!