Chris and Shirley Piggott were working as pharmacists in Sydney in 1970 when family in Newcastle told them Kotara Pharmacy on Orchardtown Road was up for sale.
Chris travelled up to meet with the owner, but the pharmacy manager then signalled his intention to buy it.
"I left him my phone number and three weeks later we got a phone call," Chris said. "He said 'well son if you're still interested I give you three weeks'."
So Chris and Shirley, who was almost nine months pregnant at the time, jumped in their Mini Minor with their milko friends in tow transporting all their worldly belongings and opened the business on November 7, 1970 while living in the flat upstairs.
Fifty years later and there would be few Newcastle residents who wouldn't be familiar with the Piggott name.
As well as running chemists over the years, Chris also helped to establish pharmacy management at the University of Newcastle and taught it for 14 years.
Along with university graduates, the Piggotts have also passed on their passion for the industry to their own children.
Three of their four kids are pharmacists, including two who have taken over the business from their parents, while fourth child Andrew married a pharmacist and is now the marketing manager for the business.
"We're very proud, they're good business people and they're caring individuals," Chris said of his children.
Skye and Anthony Piggott have expanded the business to include six locations since buying the Blackbutt chemist from their parents in 2009, which ended up being Chris and Shirley's first and last pharmacy.
Anthony said it was very exciting for his parents to have notched up 50 years in the business.
"It's a big milestone for mum and dad," Anthony said. "It's lovely. It's really, really nice."
Anthony said he wasn't sure if he could make it to 100 years, but may be able to do so with the help of his daughter Anita, who said she hopes to be a pharmacist when she grows up.
"I don't know how true that is, she said she wants to run a cat hotel," Anthony said.
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