Lavanya Akula said customers at her pharmacy are more than just patrons – they’re family.
“This is personal one-on-one service and every patient, every customer is uniquely special,” Akula said. “It’s not a number for us.”
Akula’s family-run pharmacy, Genome Pharmacy, located at 1105 Jericho Turnpike in New Hyde Park, opened earlier this month, but the grand opening will take place on Friday at 2 p.m.
Akula said her pharmacy offers customers personal care.
When customers come into a pharmacy, they’re already in pain, Akula said.
They’re looking for someone to share that pain, she added.
“It’s not just the medicine all the time,” Akula said. “They probably waited five hours in the doctor’s office, they’re not just looking for me to call their name and [say] pay your money and get out.”
Knowing her customers, many of them by name, also assists Akula in treating them, she said.
“Sometimes, it’s not just a blood test that tells you what you need,” Akula said.
Akula is also a New Hyde Park resident. Her son and daughter, who help out around the store, go to Herricks schools.
Being a member of the community means Akula often runs into her customers in her everyday life, she said. For example, she has customers stop her when she’s grocery shopping, she said.
Which, she said, isn’t a problem.
“It’s like any other friend you’re meeting,” Akula said. “It’s not just talking about medications sometimes, they want a good friend at the same time.”
Personal interactions with customers come naturally to Akula, she said.
Growing up, Akula said, her family ran a community store so she said dealing with customers has always been part of her life – and an aspect she actively chose to pursue with her future.
“For me when I picked this profession I had two choices,” Akula said. “I could become a research development scientist or I could be in communities serving the public. It was my choice to pick this.”