Husband and wife team Michelle and John Ortego, both Sacramento natives, had long considered owning a business together. After brainstorming a rough concept that merged both of thier professional interests and skills, John then enrolled in the PharmD program at the University of the Pacific with the clear mindset that he wanted to be a business owner. During his studies, not only did he have the good fortune of picking a rotation that assigned him to Land Park Pharmacy, but he also spearheaded a student group that competed and won a Student Business Plan Competition sponsored by the National Community Pharmacists Association. From that great victory, a more thorough and specific blueprint for the future Parkside Pharmacy Compounding & Wellness center was created.

What’s so impressive about Parkside Pharmacy is not necessarily the Pepto Bismol or the Ace Bandages, and can not be solely attributed to the local Sacramento family ownership, either, but rather it’s the altogether inventive niche market that the whole compounding pharmacy serves, especially when combined with a esthetician-run skin spa and gift boutique. “The first thing you see when you come in is the gifts,” narrates John, “We definitely put our best food torward with Michelle’s presentation and merchandise.” The front third of the pharmacy is like a museum store full of quality gift shop items artfully aranged and coordinated within the warm wallpapered walls of the storefront. The entire building was redesigned by Curtis Popp of Popp Littrell Architecture to give it a much more modern look and to house their top of the line pharmacy technology.

In the mid-section of Parkside you’ll find all the over-the-counter necessities for keeping you and your family healthy with a much more personalized approach than a chain drugstore.  And in the back of the space you’ll find the pharmacy counter, a consulting area, a skin spa treatment room, and a full compounding lab. For those that aren’t familiar, a compounding pharmacy is specialized to “make medicine from scratch” as John puts it, “so that we can customize doses, dosage forms and delivery systems.” So whether you have an allergy to a common ingredient or your child needs bubble gum flavoring to help take a medication, Parkside can fill these prescriptions exactly to your doctor’s specifications. Hormone replacement therapy, as well as veterinary medicine, are also often formulated here.

It’s nice to go into a independently owned business that not only gives you what you need, but also shares it’s own local flavor as well. “I like Michael Glascock's comment that LP is like Mayberry meets Burberry,” says John about Land Park, “—I think that's what he says anyway. It's a cute neighborhood with older families and newer families intermixed. There's a feeling of community. People support local businesses. They pitch in to clean and protect the park. They take pride in the appearance of their homes, yards and streets.” And personally, I know I’d much rather cruise the lovely streets of Land Park on an errand to the inviting Parkside Pharmacy than battle crowds at whatever big box store might lure customers in with mass marketed price-cuts.

According to Sacramento News & Review, Parkside Pharmacy is Sacramento’s “Best old-school neighborhood pharmacy” and a fixture in South Land Park these days. Years after original owners Ted and Georgia Econome sold the previous business, the legacy of a small independent pharmacy lives on to serve the community from the very same shopping plaza. You can visit Parkside Pharmacy at 4404 Del Rio Road on the corner of Del Rio Road and South Land Park Drive or at www.myparksidepharmacy.com.

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