Richard Kozaris and his wife, Basma, are a young couple who have blended their pharmacist credentials with good dollops of entrepreneurial smarts and a knack for a chat with patients.

Last Friday, the pair opened Watergarden’s newest store, Chemist Warehouse, and plan to bring all their skills to the fore. But long before joining forces for their new venture, they shared a journey.

“I met Basma at Monash uni,” explains Richard. “when we were both doing pharmacy.

“Then we worked together at a Reservoir pharmacy. I guess it was meant to be.”

It didn’t take long for them to open their first Chemist Warehouse in Greenvale, an operation of four years, which they still own and manage.

“We love our Greenvale experience so when we got the chance to open another Chemist Warehouse, we jumped at it. We’ll be busy, but we’re doing what we worked hard for and enjoy.”

When asked to name his favourite bit of being pharmacist and manager of such a large outfit, he jokingly says he’s the ‘head of customer liaison’.

“Along with being able to give advice to optimize medication and complementary medicine usage, I really like getting to know patients.

“Not just knowing their medications but their lives … it might start with a chat around a blood pressure test, for example.

“I’m sure we’ll be on first-name basis with many in no time, just as we enjoy in Greenvale. In the end, it’s all about community and providing optimal healthcare at the best price,” he says.

Chemist Warehouse, Watergardens Town Centre (next door to Bob Jane T-Mart), 399 Melton Highway, Taylors Lakes. Inquiries: 8361 6322