A husband and wife who have managed a Herne Hill pharmacy for 42 years will say goodbye to their customers before retiring on April 3.
Viren Patel, owner of the Herne Hill Pharmacy in Burbage Road, first bought the business in 1974, after graduating from Bath University in 1972.
“I’ll miss all our customers, and we have had so many regulars over the years.” Viren, 69, said.
“I used to serve patients who came here with their children, and now I see them grown up coming in with their children. It’s a proper family community. They come in with their babies and we see them live their lives.
“This is a very pleasant area and people have been very good to us. People come in and say hello even if they’re not coming in to get anything.
“It was a hard decision to make, to move on.”
He has worked long hours, Monday to Saturday with his wife Usha and their two sons, who have since qualified to become a doctor and a dentist.
“Our situation is that we live with my two sons and two daughters-in-law, and three granddaughters, all under one roof in Streatham,” Viren said.
Over the years he has been happy to help people in the area with advice for elderly relatives, and to deliver people’s medication to their homes – saying it helps relationships with customers and helps the business.
Viren also thanked the GP surgeries who have “all been very cooperative”, which makes his job easier. He is “not sitting down and putting [his] feet up” and said he doesn’t want to “start feeling old and going downhill”. To help with the transition with the new owners, Viren added that he will be popping in to help. The family will be having a few gatherings to mark their last days at their pharmacy, and will be having a small send off at a local pub.