Cridge Family Pharmacy co-owners Debbie Cridge and son and pharmacist Jason Cridge greet customers with smiles at their new store in the Yarrow Building on Fort Street in Victoria.

Cridge Family Pharmacy co-owners Debbie Cridge and son and pharmacist Jason Cridge greet customers with smiles at their new store in the Yarrow Building on Fort Street in Victoria.

BUSINESS BEAT: Pharmacy family’s Victoria roots go way back

Pharmacist Jason Cridge, descended from Victoria pioneer Bishop Edward Cridge, hangs out his shingle on Fort Street

You won’t find small kitchen appliances, a photo-finishing department or hardware in the new Cridge Family Pharmacy.

Pharmacist Jason Cridge is more interested in patient care than boosting revenue with products he knows little about – like vacuum cleaners.

“We’re definitely going back to basics in terms of pharmacy service,” he says. “Our dispensary is closer to the front of the store. Right when a patient walks in the door we can talk to them.”

Cridge, who graduated with his pharmacist’s ticket in 2012 and worked at a few pharmacies to get his feet wet, opened the outlet in the historic Yarrow Building as a family business with his parents, Mike and Debbie, on Aug. 1 next to the longtime former site of McGill and Orme Pharmacy. (McGill and Orme became the Rexall store now on Douglas Street across from the Strathcona Hotel)

The narrow 2,200-square-foot space isn’t adorned with loss leader general merchandise deals on the ends of aisles, retailing commonly practised by larger drug stores. The rows of shelves are laid out in orderly, uncrowded fashion with products easily reachable for customers.

And if they have questions, Cridge is happy to help.

“We spend a lot of time doing medical reviews, and working with patients’ personal histories,” he says.

Often people don’t get enough time in their doctor’s’ office to absorb the implications or side effects of their prescribed medications, he says. But provincial guidelines now pay pharmacists to spend more time with clients, a point he says customers appreciate.

If the Cridge name sounds familiar, it should.

Jason is the great-great-great grandson of Bishop Edward Cridge, the one-time reverend at Christ Church Cathedral who broke away and started the Church of Our Lord in the 1860s. He was also instrumental in getting a city hospital going and starting a group that would ultimately become the Cridge Centre for the Family.

“It’s definitely something to be proud of,” Cridge says.

Debbie Cridge, working the counter on this day, points out that someone from Church of Our Lord recently dropped by with an original bible belonging to Bishop Cridge.

“It’s kind of exciting and kind of special for the family to have a part in Victoria after all these years,” she says.

The pharmacy benefitted early from tourist traffic, Jason says. But among local customers, the pharmacy’s compounding services – medications are tailor-made for patients unable to take commercially produced drugs – have proven popular.

Eventually, the Cridges hope to evolve into a “naturopathic-type” store that can offer medical information on natural medications.

For more information, visit cridgefamilypharmacy.com, stop by 641 Fort St. or call 250-686-7104.

To submit your business news, send an email to ddescoteau@vicnews.com.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Victoria Police Department looks to identify a person of interest after a Friday night stabbing. (VicPD handout)
Police seek person of interest after Victoria stabbing

Friday night assault leaves one with potentially life-altering injuries

Daniel Foster, last seen in downtown Parksville on Saturday, May 1. (submitted photo)
RCMP seek help locating missing Victoria man, last spotted in Parksville

Daniel Foster, 43, seen via surveillance camera using an ATM

Police stopped, then let go this man and his large collection of cans during a stop Monday morning on Resthaven Drive. Police had received a report of a possible theft, but let him go after he had returned the property, which he believed was his to take after being left out in public. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Report of theft, balancing act on Sidney street draws curious onlookers

Incident happened just before 8:30 a.m. opposite of Vancouver Island Regional Library branch

Sean Hart, 34, unexpectedly left the Seven Oaks Tertiary Mental Health Facility in Saanich on Nov. 6, 2020 and has now been missing for six months. (Photo courtesy Penny Hart)
Search continues for Saanich man Sean Hart six months after his disappearance

Support from community, police keeps his mother hopeful

Victoria Police continue to investigate a stabbing in downtown Victoria. (Black Press Media file photo)
Passerby calls police after finding man stabbed, sobbing on Victoria street

One man was sent to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries

A bullet hole is seen in the windshield of an RCMP vehicle approximately 4 km from Vancouver International Airport after a one person was killed during a shooting outside the international departures terminal at the airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Homicide team IDs man in fatal YVR shooting as police grapple with spate of gang violence

Man, 20, charged in separate fatal shooting Burnaby over the weekend

Vancouver Canucks goaltender Thatcher Demko (35) makes a save on Winnipeg Jets’ Nate Thompson (11) during second period NHL action in Winnipeg, Monday, May 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Greenslade
Vancouver Canucks see NHL playoff hopes dashed despite 3-1 win over Winnipeg

Montreal Canadiens earn final North Division post-season spot

The B.C. legislature went from 85 seats to 87 before the 2017 election, causing a reorganization with curved rows and new desks squeezed in at the back. The next electoral boundary review could see another six seats added. (Black Press files)
B.C. election law could add six seats, remove rural protection

North, Kootenays could lose seats as cities gain more

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the shooting of an Indigenous woman in the Ucluelet First Nation community of Hitacu. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. First Nation wants ‘massive change’ after its 3rd police shooting in less than a year

Nuu-chah-nulth woman recovering from gunshot wounds in weekend incident near Ucluelet

Nurse Gurinder Rai, left, administers the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to Maria Yule at a Fraser Health drive-thru vaccination site, in Coquitlam, B.C., on Wednesday, May 5, 2021. The site is open for vaccinations 11 hours per day to those who have pre-booked an appointment. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COVID vaccine bookings to open for adults 40+, or 18+ in hotspots, across B.C.

Only people who have registered will get their alert to book

Dr. Victoria Lee, CEO of Fraser Health, hosts an update on efforts to contain B.C.’s COVID-19 transmission in Surrey and the Fraser Valley and protect hospitals in the Lower Mainland, May 6, 2021. (B.C. government video)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate slowing, 20 more people die

Deaths include two people in their 40s, two in their 50s

The Canadian Forces Snowbirds are in the Comox Valley for their annual spring training. Photo by Erin Haluschak
Suspected bird strike on Snowbirds plane during training in Comox

Pilot followed protocols and landed the aircraft on the ground without any problems

Most Read