John Allen started his career in pharmacy at Clement’s Drug Store in Brandon in 1957. A short 3 years later on Jan.1, 1960 he bought the business and continued to operate it under the same name.  Clement’s Drug Store thrived during John’s first decade as owner, and was recognized three times with achieving the highest sales of Rexall brand products in all of Canada! Over the next few years, John became a shareholder in three Brandon pharmacies as well as drug stores located in Rivers and Hamiota.


In 1977, John joined forces with Greg Skura, Joss March, Tom Busch, Bryan Shaw, Dennis McMahon and Walter Batlowski to create a new buying group and Super Thrifty Drugs Canada Ltd. was born. These innovative men knew that by pooling their resources, they could be more effective and competitive in the market place & better compete with the growing strength of the much larger national chains. At the same time, the group worked hard to preserve the personal service and comfortable environment their customers had come to expect.

The Clement Block was Brandon’s first all-concrete building and held the distinction of being the office of Canada’s first medical clinic established by Wilfred A. Bigelow. Sadly, the Clement Block was demolished in 1989.
As the company grew and earned larger purchasing power, the partners soon realized they needed a central buying office and warehouse to store & distribute larger volumes of inventory.  A new building in Brandon’s east end was built, acting as a combination head office and warehouse. This served as the central location for accounting and administration for the stores.


In 1986, Super Thrifty Head Office relocated to a much larger building at 381 Park Avenue East in Brandon. This location still serves as the company corporate office.

Over the next few years, in addition to stores in Brandon, Hamiota and Rivers, the group expanded into Virden, The Pas, Dauphin, Ste. Rose du Lac, Morris, Selkirk and Melita.


Over the years Super Thrifty has continued to be very innovative and ahead of its time.  In the early eighties, they were one of the first pharmacy chains to use computers in the dispensary. As well, the group had a couple of video rental locations. In 1991, the decision was made to stop selling cigarettes.

In some locations, Super Thrifty is carrying on the tradition of a long line of pharmacy service going back decades. In 1901, Clement’s Drug Store started its long and storied journey in a modest wood frame structure built by David Clement.  In 1910, he and his brother commissioned to have a five storey building built to house the pharmacy, offices and other businesses.


The Virden store is serving the town and surrounding area as its predecessor Higginbotham’s Drug Store did for over 100 years. In Melita, there has been a pharmacy since 1891.

Today Super Thrifty Drugs Canada employs over 200 people in several communities, some of whom have been with the company since the beginning, a few even before the group was formed in 1977! This speaks volumes about how Super Thrifty truly cares about people.


Now among only a handful of independently owned pharmacy chains in Canada, Super Thrifty’s main focus today, as it was when the company was first founded, is that the stores are not only serving the community but are part of the community. We’re your neighbours, we know you & we’re here to help.