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Chemist celebrates 25 years at heart of town
AFTER more than 25 years serving the people of Northwich, Hogg’s Chemist is still at the heart of the community.
It was October 1, 1987 when Carl Hogg first opened the doors to his pharmacy on Darwin Street, Castle.
The store, a former washing machine repair shop, had need a lot of work, but with the help of family, friends and neighbours, Carl was able to stick to his tight deadline.
“Castle was a really friendly place,” said 53-year-old Carl, “Customers flooded into the pharmacy from day one and even now, 25 years on, we try to maintain that same approach to customer service and individuality.”
Carl’s stock during those early years was carefully selected by popular demand, with no head office or computer programmes to worry about, just requests from customers.
“Being an independent pharmacy meant we could cater for the needs of our customers on request and that little shop on Castle was like an Aladdin’s Cave, especially at Christmas time,” said Carl.
Hogg’s Chemist was well known for ear piercing and Carl says there will be many Guardian readers, now in their 20s, 30s and 40s, who will have had theirs done by him.
“We’ve done hundreds of pregnancy tests of the years too. Many of those babies have now grown up and visit the pharmacy with no idea that I was one of the first to know of their imminent birth.”
In 2006, Hogg’s relocated to Firdale Road, Winnington, where it remains to this day, with the same customer base.
Carl said: “It’s great to have long-serving customers going back over 25 years and we’re delighted to welcome new customers every day.
“When people ask if it feels like 25 years, I have to say that it doesn’t.
“It has been full on for every one of those years, talking to patients and customers alike who all enjoy that little bit of time and attention, often delighted to find a quiet spell and a chance to stop and chat.
“I’m lucky to have a great staff team who enjoy serving customers and keep up the ethos of good customer service – I couldn’t have done it without them.”
TO celebrate 25 years in business, Carl Hogg will be walking 25 miles around Northwich with the help of his staff – one mile for every year serving the community.
There will also be a ‘free’ prize draw in store at Hogg’s, giving customers the chance to win a ladies and gent’s watch, engraved with ‘Hogg’s Chemist 1987 – 2012.”
The walk, which takes place on November 13 – unless the weather decides otherwise – will take in Winnington, Rudheath, Leftwich, Castle, Greenbank, Hartford and Northwich town centre, with all money raised going to St Luke’s Hospice.
Carl said: “People kept asking me what I was doing to celebrate the 25th anniversary – I told them about the prize daw but then I decided I wanted to do something for charity.”
Carl says the only time he’ll stop walking is to have a drink of water, but if someone offers him steak and kidney pie with chips and pies, he may have to reconsider.