Everyone knows the best way to put a smile on your face is to get yourself a little treat! This was what Roxana had in mind when she and her husband decided to sell churros to the UK public; a dream turned into reality thanks to her ability to locum.
Roxana Georgiana Baloiu, originally from Romania, has been a pharmacist for nine years. Her journey began in her home country before she relocated to the UK in January 2016, where she continued her pharmacy career. Her path took a surprising turn when she decided to explore locuming, providing her with the flexibility she needed to pursue other ventures.
Roxana's locum journey didn't start immediately upon her move to the UK. She initially worked in permanent, full-time positions in various stores. During this time, she also became a mother. However, it was the onset of the pandemic three years ago, while caring for her baby Robert, that pushed her towards locuming.
Living with her husband and in-laws, Roxana saw an opportunity to step out and leave the baby with her extended family when they were all at home due to the pandemic. This marked the beginning of her locum career, and she hasn’t looked back since.
While Roxana had a successful career as a pharmacist, her passion extended beyond pharmaceuticals. Her husband had started a churro business in Romania about 15 years ago, which sparked an idea. They decided to turn churros into a family business in the UK, and so 'Churros Locos Freshly Made' was born. Churros are a type of fried dough from Spanish and Portuguese cuisine, and the couple saw it as a way to bring happiness to people's lives by offering a delightful treat.
Despite churros not being a staple in Romania, Roxana and her husband decided to create their own unique recipe. They expanded their offerings to include sugary dips and even homemade ice cream, which they prepare from scratch at home.
Thanks to the flexibility offered by locuming, Roxana is able to play a crucial role in the running of the churro business. She handles social media, payroll, and the development of standard operating procedures, especially in dealing with allergies and related concerns. Her background as a pharmacist provides her with the knowledge and expertise needed to ensure safety and quality. The business has grown exponentially since the beginning, now with four different locations across the country.
Currently, Roxana works as a locum pharmacist for three days a week, with the flexibility to adjust her schedule as needed. By only working on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday, she is able to spend her days off focusing on running the business, managing social media, and, of course, making ice cream!
Roxana's favourite aspect of locuming is the flexibility it offers. Full-time pharmacy employment often comes with weekend shifts, late hours, and irregular schedules, which can be challenging for parents or those running a business. She appreciates the convenience of using the Clarity Locums app for managing her locum shifts.
“Clarity Locums is quite good because you have an app which is very easy to control, and you also message and email the day before the shift. It’s very helpful.”
When asked if she'd ever consider going back to full-time pharmacy work, Roxana firmly says no. She sees locuming as the best option for her and her family, offering the flexibility and work-life balance she values.
For pharmacists considering locuming, Roxana offers a simple piece of advice:
"Don't look back, look forward."
She encourages her peers to embrace the locum lifestyle, as it provides them with the best opportunities in the current job market.
Roxana Georgiana Baloiu's journey from full-time pharmacist to locum pharmacist and churro business owner is a testament to the opportunities and flexibility that locuming provides. Her story is an inspiration for those seeking a work-life balance that allows them to follow their passions and create a fulfilling life.
If Roxana's story has inspired you to take up locuming and you'd like to learn more, you can read our comprehensive guide to becoming a locum in Ireland.
We have interviewed a number of locum pharmacists and agency nurses around the UK and Ireland about their experiences with locuming, and how the step away from a traditional, full-time role has allowed them to pursue many different ventures. Read at the link below.