City Pharmacy was founded by Mahesh Patel with his wife Usha Patel in 1987 at Garden City, Port Moresby, with just four staff. The success of the first pharmacy store led to its expansion to Anderson Foodland in Koki and the Burns Philp Shopping Centre in Boroko. From this humble beginning, the pharmacy business has grown from strength to strength and now includes 30 outlets across the country.
The key to City Pharmacy’s success as a retail business has been a store layout and merchandising concept never before tried in Papua New Guinea. City Pharmacy combined a central focus on healthcare, with additional health, beauty and convenience products in an exciting merchandise mix. With its attractive interior layout, onestop convenience and customer-focused culture, City Pharmacy is now firmly entrenched in the daily lives of Papua New Guineans.
Over more than 28 years, City Pharmacy has been responsible for many innovations and achievements. In the 1990s, it was the first business to go to the island of Bougainville after the civil war and the ensuing crisis, opening a branch in Buka to cater for the much needed basic healthcare needs of the people of Bougainville. It was also the first business house to declare its premises as MERI SEIF PLES (Safe Place for Women) to protect women against domestic violence. It has also initiated a local PNG paper production using kunai grass—an eco-friendly local grass. This is now used by Paradise Foods as packaging for their niche chocolates.