Why a pharmacist immigrated to Canada and how he ended up in Elkford

Ahmed Elmaddah’s Elkford Drug Store has become a much-loved part of the small community

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Close-up shot of Ahmed Elmaddah

Canada was Ahmed Elmaddah’s first choice for emigrating from Egypt. — Photo courtesy Ahmed Elmaddah

Why immigrate to Canada if you’re a pharmacist?

Ahmed Elmaddah did because he liked the fact that Canada’s professional standards for pharmacists are very high.

Plus, Elmaddah said Canada has a good reputation for welcoming immigrants, so he immigrated with his family from Cairo, Egypt, in 2010.

He has lived in several parts of Canada but found his way to Elkford when he realized he wanted to have his own store and friends recommended the small town.

Elkford did not have a drug store for 30 years, Elmaddah explained. He rented an empty space, designed it and then opened the Elkford Drug Store in 2015.

Ahmed Elmaddah standing behind pharmacy counter.

Ahmed Elmaddah opened the pharmacy in Elkford after the town’s 30-year hiatus without one. — Photo courtesy Ahmed Elmaddah

It is obvious that Elmaddah has found his true calling as the owner of a small pharmacy. He won two awards from the Elkford Chamber of Commerce at its 2019 Business Awards gala: Business of the Year and Customer Service Award. And it is the third year in a row that the Elkford Drug Store has won Business of the Year!

To say that the townspeople welcome a drug store in town after a 30-year hiatus would be an understatement. And the feelings are mutual.

“I like the close-knit community,” said Elmaddah. “There’s a welcoming feeling.”

He and his staff always make sure stocks are full. As a pharmacist, he answers all questions immediately or finds out the answers if he doesn’t know them. Stressing health and wellness, he also will have discussions with doctors, if necessary.

“We put people first,” he said.

In his spare time, Elmaddah and his family enjoy Elkford’s wilderness, mountains and lakes.

“I like hiking the hills at night,” he said.

Virginia Rasch

Virginia is a writer and copy editor with Koocanusa Publications. She is an avid outdoor recreationist in all seasons and has lived in the Kootenays for 10 years. With degrees in the natural sciences, she has worked as a tour guide, an environmentalist, a writer, and a copy editor of scientific publications. Virginia now brings her passion for everything green to Kootenay Business. View all of Virginia Rasch’s articles

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