Keith and Jane Tanaka are leaving Pharmasave after 35 years.
Pass Herald Reporter
It was sad news when Jane and Keith Tanaka, owners of Pharmasave in Blairmore announced that they will be changing management of the pharmacy to enter retirement. Jane, formerly a teacher and Keith, a pharmacist, have been in business at Pharmasave for over 35 years, just under how long they have been residents of the Crowsnest Pass.
After moving to the Pass from Lethbridge and prior to managing a pharmacy, Keith worked at one in Pincher Creek for three years. It was in those three years that Keith decided it was time to purchase one of his own, something he had always wanted to do.
“I knew I couldn’t stay in Pincher Creek,” said Keith. “I was just waiting for that opportunity.”
On June 10th, 1974, about three years after moving to the Pass, Keith made his goal of owning a pharmacy come true when he bought a pharmacy in Coleman, then known as IDA.
In 1976. after some time owning the pharmacy in Coleman, the Tanakas became owners of a second pharmacy, Pharmasave in Blairmore. The Tanakas owned both pharmacy’s for about 15 years.
“It was an interesting experience, much different than my experience in Pincher Creek,” said Keith. “We found the community of the Crowsnest Pass to be remarkably friendly and people had no apprehensions with strangers coming in.
I felt very welcome,” said Keith. The Tanakas said that owning Pharmasave was a great experience and many friendships were made over the three decades they were owners. “We certainly have no regrets and no intentions of leaving the Pass,” they said.
Even with all the good times, the Tanakas decided that after 40 years of being in business, it was time to retire. “We wanted to be able to spend more time doing other things than work,” they said. “We want to spend more time with our grandchildren and do little bit of travelling,” said Keith.”
Owning the business was a real opportunity and we have no regrets,” they said. New management of Pharmasave started on February 19th with Aaron Koegler as the new frontman.
“We want to wish Aaron the very best in taking over the business,” said Jane. “And we want to thank the community for all the support they have given us. Jane added that the business has been very fortunate in having employees who have been with them for a number of loyal years, some on and off since high school.
“Thank you to the community for the long time support and friendship,” said Jane. “Now it’s time to move on.”