Small Business Week: Business expands three times over 10 years

Fast forward nearly a decade and the McKay's have changed locations and are undergoing a third expansion.

In the nine years since they opened up shop in Lake Country, Winfield IDA owners Garth and Mona McKay have gone through some pretty big changes.

Nine years ago the Lake Country couple were operating a small business with the help of their three daughters and a few employees.

Fast forward nearly a decade and they’ve changed locations, are undergoing a third expansion that will see them almost triple in size since those early days, and they now have 22 employees.

“We’re a growing business in a smaller town,” said Garth, a pharmacist with nearly 30 years experience in the business. “We’ve always had involvement in the community. I think we’ve tried to make improvements and just see what the needs of the community are, because every community is different as far as the products that you carry and some of the services you want to offer.”

Among the new changes at Winfield IDA that will increase the size of the operation to over 6,000 square feet are a new lab that will give pharmacists the ability to compound medications on-site as well as an additional counselling room.

The front store operation will also see some expansion as a fully operational Canada Post outlet. The home health care department will expand as will the company’s travel section where folks can get anything they need to leave the country, including vaccinations.

“We have competition from big box stores so we’ve had to make changes,” explained Mona. “But one of the things we’ve always prided ourselves on is customer service. It’s our top priority.”

Maintaining employees isn’t always the easiest thing to do, especially in a small town. At Winfield IDA, they think of staff much like an extended family.

“We offer a low stress environment for people to work and we provide excellent compensation,” said Garth. “We are pretty easy to get along with and we can help our employees at a moment’s notice. If they need to go do something with their kids they are free to go and we will cover for them.”

“We really have a team effort at our store,” added Mona. “Yes they work for us but it’s very much their store as well. We’ve worked hard in our business and the community has been very supportive. We’ve always been entrepreneurs and have that entrepreneurial spirit.”