It's an absolute treat to bring you todays insider perspective from a man who has called Dunedin home since his arrival as a Uni student over 25 years ago. As a new graduate he was employed as a pharmacist by Knox Pharmacy in 1997, the beginning of an inspirational career pathway.
Fast forward 20 years of dedicated work within the healthcare industry to today, Chin and partner Lorealle are the force behind the sleek antidote pharmacy brand with 7 stores on the streets of Dunedin and one opening soon in Queenstown.
A visionary entrepreneur with a real passion for holistic healthcare, in recent years this passion has led to the acquisition of three popular central city cafes but today we'll be looking at Chin and Lorealle's newest business venture - Daily Dose.
TODAYS INSIDER PERSPECTIVE: CHIN LOH & LOREALLE LAM
D a i l y D o s e
Located at 98 Macandrew Road Daily Dose is a warm and contemporary cafe run alongside a stylish dispensary. This complementary fusion is a representation of the owners core commitment to providing comprehensive healthcare that extends 'beyond prescription'.
Can you share a little about the vision behind Daily Dose?
The cliche is true - 'you are what you eat',
Daily Dose is our concept of integrating healthy eating into pharmacy practice. Despite sounding contradictory as a pharmacist I'd rather see you at the dispensary as a last resort because a lot of our modern afflictions are heavily influenced by lifestyle choices.
At the same time we aim to break the misconception that healthy eating is boring and expensive - our chefs have been given the brief to make "junk food - healthy."
The Dispensary: Pharmacy is traditionally an end point destination where patients drop their prescription and go, cafes on the other hand are where people typically linger and relax. Our design brief for our architect was to design a space that is warm and welcoming, where customers will enjoy having a conversation about their health in comfort.
"Beyond medication, there is so much more you can do to improve your health and that's a conversation we at antidote would love to have with our customers."
Designed with gatherings in mind
The warmth of wood has been incorporated within the design of the pharmacy through the use of recycled Rimu with the cafe planned around the introduction of open spaces.
In the future we will be running health seminars after hours at Daily Dose.
Daily Dose is situated within a new and developing business hub in South Dunedin, can you outline the potential you saw in this location?
This has been a common question since we opened with some leaning towards 'are you mad?' and while South Dunedin may not be the obvious location for a new concept like this, we believe it will be highly beneficial to this community and beyond.
There is a strong local business base in this area and South Dunedin has a large elderly contingent who we hope will benefit from a nice gathering space like Daily Dose.
Our landlord Justin Stott has been instrumental in the development of this hub and in the longterm with Aurora Health Centre, Southern Rehab Physiotherapy and Anytime Fitness Gym this will become a true health destination not just for South Dunedin but for Dunedin in general.
A little inside info on the menu...
As mentioned previously 'making junk food healthy' is our playful twist on a serious goal. It does sound like an oxymoron but we are happy to challenge convention.
Look out for creations like Popeye Cakes and Protein Grenades.
From the beverage menu we are offering MCT shots in our coffees, these are basically instant energy shots which are 100% natural and sourced from coconut oil.
We don't promote any diet trends in particular there are features in every one of them that are beneficial and vice versa. As boring as it may sound, the answer lies somewhere in between.
We encourage open, honest conversation with our customers and help them make the choices that are best for them.
Dunedin has been home for over 25 years, what do you love about being based here?
The people. I've lived in Wellington and all over Queensland but Dunedin is amazingly friendly and open. I am Asian but rarely am I reminded of that in my interactions with other locals.
The cold. Another thing I love about Dunedin is honestly the cold.
Warm is nice but nothing focuses your mind more than a nice cold morning!
I'm sure many of you have noticed the transformation of the antidote pharmacies that are dotted along Dunedin streets. These pharmacies are now gorgeous clean and modern spaces highlighting the impact that pairing form with function can have on any type of retail space.
Seeing this collective transformation of stores on our city streets we wanted to hear more from Chin as a businessman who is invested in the city professionally and personally about how his work connects with his vision for the city.
I seen Dunedin as a city with unrealised potential,
It is a great little city with big city infrastructure - we often take this for granted.
What i can do as an individual with our businesses will hopefully contribute to the collective, helping make Dunedin a city where our children and families will thrive and be proud to call HOME.
In closing we asked Chin to share some of his words to live by, his response a favourite quote that is simple yet powerful.
B e t r u e t o y o u r s e l f
S a f e P a s s a g e
We were delighted when Chin requested some Dunedin photography for including in the decor at Daily Dose and the selection of this beautiful panorama of Otago Harbour (called Safe Passage) was the perfect choice for this bench seating area.
Tim and the team at The Photo Gallery did a fantastic job of transforming an image into this stunning 3 metre piece of art and carrying out the installation which was no small feat.