The City of Côte Saint-Luc, via our newly established Local Commerce Committee, is pleased to announce the first Spotlight on Local Merchants selection, Pharmacy D.Banon and S.R. Ettedgui affiliated with Pharmaprix, owned by pharmacists David Banon and Sarah Ettedgui. I am proud to gave been asked to chair this new initiative.
From the time David and Sarah purchased the pharmacy at Cavendish in 2010, and at the time the one at the Caldwell Shopping Centre, they have been model owners and implicated in our community. They have stepped forward to sponsor many of our programs and always make themselves available to counsel clients when needed.
I was pleased to present Sarah and David with their certificate this week.
“David and Sarah are model business owners in our city and very worthy of this recognition” added Mayor Mitchell Brownstein.
David and Sarah are partners in life and business. They met at pharmacy school and have been married for 13 years. The couple have three young children.
“Being implicated in the community has always been important for both of us, even before becoming pharmacists, be it at our synagogue or volunteering with various local organizations,” said David. “Of course, becoming owners of such a community-based pharmacy has certainly allowed us to further help out and create bonds with other members in the community who run amazing initiatives.”
Sarah notes how proud they are to be part of initiatives related to the likes of the Nellie Philanthropy Foundation, the Mada Community Centre, Canada Day, the CSL Men's Club and the CSL Public Library, just to name a few. “Community for us also means that our clients know our names and feel comfortable reaching out with questions or concerns and vice versa that we really know them and their needs as well,” she said.
David and Sarah are particularly proud of the work their dedicated staff of 80 people do every day. notably throughout the pandemic. “This has been challenging for I’d say every profession,” says David. “As pharmacists during the pandemic we became the ‘go to’ for a lot of people. We were given more responsibilities by our order in terms of extending prescriptions, prescribing in certain circumstances medications and modifying doses along with vaccinating for flu and eventually against COVID-19 - all of this on top of our regular day to day job of verifying regular prescriptions and answering patient questions. “
Sarah and David unmasked.
Added Sarah: “It is nice to have our capabilities as a health professional recognized. This came at a very busy time trying to offer everything demanded of us while also having to, in the flip of a switch, learn and implement safety protocols at work, learn to work with masks and sometimes double masks, communicate through plexiglass and balance work home life. However, we did it and continue to do so daily thanks to an incredible pharmacy team and front store staff and I think any pharmacy owner can truly say that we are surviving this pandemic thanks to our teams that work tirelessly behind us.”
Sarah grew up in Côte-Saint-Luc and attended Hebrew Academy for elementary and high school. She went into health sciences at Dawson College, completed a Bachelor in Microbiology and Immunology from McGill University prior to entering Pharmacy School at Université de Montreal. As a pharmacy student she worked at the Lackman and Masella pharmacy on Westminster Avenue.
David grew up Saint-Laurent, went to École Maimonide for elementary and high school. He enrolled into Health Sciences at College Bois-de-Boulogne and also attended pharmacy school at Université de Montreal. At that time, he worked as a student at the Pharmaprix Cavendish, then owned by Valerie Rouimi. He also completed a Masters in Hospital Pharmacy and worked for three years as a hospital pharmacist at the Jewish General Hospital from 2006 to 2009.
How did David and Sarah decide to become pharmacists?
“A chemistry teacher in CEGEP approached me and suggested I should visit a pharmacy,” David recalls. “At that time, I had no clue what a pharmacist was really doing. After a short visit at a local pharmacy, I took the decision to apply into pharmacy school.”
Sarah started working at the pharmacy at Mount Sinai Hospital during her undergrad at McGill. “I learned a lot about the profession from the pharmacists, “she said. “It was working alongside the stagiaire students I met who inspired me to pursue a career in pharmacy.”
About the Local Commerce Committee
The Local Commerce Committee will advise or make recommendations, where necessary, to the Council on all aspects related to Local Commerce and economic development, and will fulfill the following mandates:
- Develop relationships with local merchants to understand their needs.
- Create up-to-date database of local business operators, kept current by operating licenses.
- Promote local merchants and local shopping activity.
- Help connect local merchants to resources, funding, tools and training.
- Create internal policies that encourage ordering from local businesses.
- Plan for mixed use developments where people can live, work, and shop.
- Zone strategically for certain uses.
- Encourage businesses to set up shop on our territory.
- Help create an environment where businesses can flourish.
- Help establish a Merchants’ Association.
- Provide incentives, breaks and/or grants
We will certainly be looking for public input on this committee. Our Associate City Manager Tanya Abramovitch, Treasurer Angelo Marino, Deputy Mayor Dida Berku, General Counsel and Director of Purchasing Andrea Charon, Director of Public Affairs and Communications Darryl Levine and Executive Assistant to the Mayor and City Manager Tammy McEwen are on the committee.