Val: ‘Be pre­pared to work hard’

Hard yards, good staff for suc­cess

Gatton Star - - NEWS - Do­minic El­some do­minic.el­some@gat­ton­star.com.au

BUSI­NESS was sim­ply done dif­fer­ently when Val Vaughan first bought her phar­macy.

Ms Vaughan and her late hus­band Colin were work­ing in Bris­bane in 1973, but des­per­ately wanted to re­turn to the coun­try to start a fam­ily.

“I hated the city,” Ms Vaughan said.

“We just wanted to get back to the coun­try.”

As Colin was a me­chanic, they were look­ing to buy a garage in a coun­try town, but strug­gled to find one for sale where Ms Vaughan could also find work as a phar­ma­cist.

It was when a friend sug­gested they buy a phar­macy, and it just so hap­pened one was for sale in Gatton. Ms Vaughan said the pur­chas­ing process wasn’t any­thing like what you’d ex­pect to­day.

“There were 13 peo­ple that wanted to buy it and we were in­ter­viewed by the lady who was sell­ing the phar­macy,” she said.

“Then she chose three peo­ple and we in­di­vid­u­ally came for din­ner.

“Three days later she call via tele­phone, per­son­ally, and said we had been cho­sen to buy the phar­macy.”

The busi­ness would be­come known as Vaughan’s Phar­macy, and the duo would be­come stal­warts of the com­mu­nity.

Their hard work and ded­i­ca­tion paid off, and be­fore long they had ex­panded and pur­chased other ven­tures in town in­clud­ing a shoe shop and an or­chard.

Ms Vaughan said her late hus­band was also de­ter­mined to do some­thing to help the strug­gling main street – he bought a for­mer garage and re­de­vel­oped the site into the com­plex where Spanos Supa IGA is now.

She put her suc­cess down, in part, to em­ploy­ing hard-work­ing staff, who she de­scribed as “ab­so­lutely won­der­ful”.

“We have had the most amaz­ing staff,” she said.

On June 7, Ms Vaughan will be recog­nised for her in­cred­i­ble con­tri­bu­tion to busi­ness in Gatton at the Lock­yer Cham­ber of Com­merce and In­dus­try recog­ni­tion din­ner.

She said she was “hon­oured”.

In a tes­ta­ment to the in­cred­i­ble re­la­tion­ship Ms Vaughan fos­tered with her em­ploy­ees, about a dozen for­mer work­ers will at­tend the din­ner to cel­e­brate the award with her.

While busi­ness has cer­tainly changed since Ms Vaughan first bought her phar­macy, her ad­vice to busi­ness owners to achieve suc­cess was sim­ple:

“I think be­ing in busi­ness now is ex­tremely hard,” she said.

“It still all boils down, ba­si­cally, to try to give good ser­vice and have good staff. What more can you do?”

And for em­ploy­ees, she had a sim­i­lar sim­ple mes­sage.

”As an em­ployee, I think you have to be pre­pared to work hard and give your time. It's very much give-and-take,” she said.

The recog­ni­tion din­ner will also recog­nise Val­ley Ir­ri­ga­tion, Steel and Fenc­ing in Gatton in the Long-term Busi­ness cat­e­gory, Bridge­stone Se­lect Plain­land in New Busi­ness, Gatton Florist in Re­tail and Camp­bell Fab­ri­cat­ing and En­gi­neer­ing at Lock­rose in Trades.

❝ We have had the most amaz­ing staff, ev­ery­where we've had they've just been ab­so­lutely won­der­ful.

— Val Vaughan

PHOTO: DO­MINIC EL­SOME

LO­CAL LEG­END: Val Vaughan pur­chased the lo­cal phar­macy in 1973, and since then has be­come a Gatton stalwart. She said she felt a sense of loy­alty to the town which ‘gave us what we got’.

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