Don’t let the new name fool you. Ownership of the downtown Washago pharmacy has changed hands, but the face, dedication, and personal small-town service live on.

Pharmacist Leah Beers and her husband, Matt, are proud to call Washago their home and are thrilled to be the new owners of the rechristened Beers Family Pharmacy.20240428 093804 e1715351593369 225x300 - New owner of downtown Washago pharmacy is a familiar face

Located at 3381 Muskoka St., area residents can be reassured they’ll continue to see Leah’s welcoming face behind the counter, where she’ll answer health questions, advise on over-the-counter products, and dispense medications.

The outdoor sign may be new, but the phone and fax numbers remain unchanged. “Our friendly staff, compassionate pharmacy assistants, and myself will continue to provide the community with the highest possible level of care and customer service,” says Beers. “We want people to live as healthy as they can.”

Beers received her bachelor of science in pharmacy from the University of Toronto and gained advanced training at Toronto General, Toronto Western, and Princess Margaret hospitals. Additionally, she worked for several years in the multi-organ transplant unit at Toronto General Hospital. “Although the transplant unit work was highly emotional, it was an invaluable experience,” says Beers. Meeting her husband, a Washago local, and seeking a more balanced lifestyle, Beers was captivated by Washago’s small-town values and charm. She moved to Washago in 2009 and began working at the downtown pharmacy in 2011.

“When I started my career, the goal was to be the best hospital pharmacist I could be,” says Beers. “Little did I dream I would one day own and operate my own community drugstore. It’s especially cool because the Beers family has been in the Orillia area for generations and operated Beers Dairy from 1939 to 1956, so now we get to continue their legacy of having a family-run business.”

As it happened, an opportunity to buy the pharmacy arose. Initially, Beers was unsure what, how, or where to start this new venture. “I know the pharmaceutical industry,” says Beers, “but not how to be a business owner.” She was encouraged by friends, family, and her personal business adviser to contact the Orillia Area Community Development Corporation (CDC).

The CDC is well known as the area’s business success centre, helping people start, buy, grow, or sell their businesses. Located in Orillia at 22 Peter St. S., their highly experienced advisers provide one-on-one counselling, workshops, learning resources, and business loans. Their mission is to help entrepreneurs increase the net worth of their business, create local jobs, and build a thriving business community.

Beers was immediately impressed with the level of knowledge, professional service, and help she received from the CDC. The business adviser answered her questions and clearly explained the purchase process. Beers was provided with a financial spreadsheet, including revenue and expenses, plus business plan documents, for her to complete to accurately assess the pharmacy’s viability.

Beers indicates it was initially daunting, but with her adviser’s guidance, she built a solid business plan and sales projections to verify the pharmacy’s growth and profitability. Once all the paperwork was in order, Beers secured funding with flexible terms. To support her with the purchase transaction, the CDC gave her a list of area lawyers she could independently interview to help her with the legal transfer.

20240428 095813 300x208 - New owner of downtown Washago pharmacy is a familiar face“Without the CDC’s help I would have lost my nerve several times over. However, with their guidance and encouragement, I began to believe in the future and see myself as a successful business owner.”

Beers is grateful for her family, dedicated staff, loyal customers, and community support. “I’m incredibly happy. I feel like I’ve arrived home, and I get to stay for decades to come.”

Beers has wise words for anyone thinking about starting or buying a business. “Entrepreneurship is not a solo venture, and I 100 per cent recommend the CDC,” says Beers.

“Anything is possible when you have a team of professionals with the right answers to help you succeed and grow your business.”

To learn more about Beers Family Pharmacy, call 705-689-5515.

For more information on the Orillia Area CDC visit or contact 705-325-4903, ext. 101.


Source: Orillia Matters