When speaking with Lori Allen, one can immediately recognize how much Ahwatukee means to her.
Having lived in the area since 1992, she wanted to open Mixtures Pharmacy so that she could serve her community while still living close to home.
"I've always wanted to open my own pharmacy," Allen said. "It was one of the situations where you go to school and they teach you that you can never compete with the big boys."
She teamed up with her friend and business partner, Jim Fehrenbach, to open a unique pharmacy that compounded medicines in January of 2004.
Allen recalls that she jumped at the opportunity, and enjoys having a career that allows her to utilize her brain more.
"I love the challenges that what we do can give us," Allen said.
Mixtures Pharmacy caters to the needs of each individual customer. Using a variety of FDA-approved components, the pharmacy features a wide array of capsules, creams, depositories and ointments for their customers. Allen and her team of pharmacists vary the makeup of each medication depending on the patient, and use numerous fragments, bases, and natural oils to make each prescription unique.
Medications are most often given on the same day, but may sometimes take longer depending on whether they are out of stock or need to special order a particular ingredient.
"It all depends on what the medication is," Allen said. "It's like cake and cookies: some take an hour-and-a-half, some take eight to 10 minutes."
Mixtures is also a full-service pharmacy that fulfills regular prescription needs and features its own collection of over-the-counter products.
In particular, the pharmacy has a wide variety of options for detoxifying one's body that may help keep those weight loss resolutions in the brand new year.
Whether it's counting calories, anti-aging, or even medications for your pet, Allen assures that there are plenty of success stories.
An especially touching story she remembers was a woman who had gotten a thyroid medication compounded for her at Mixtures, and came into the pharmacy ecstatic about how her hair had stopped falling out.
These strong connections with their customers are the key ingredients to Mixtures' success in the Ahwatukee community.
"We're more of a hometown atmosphere," Allen said. "You have the opportunity to spend time talking to the pharmacist.
"We know everybody. It's like a small community in here."
Patrick Ryan is interning this semester for the Ahwatukee Foothills News. He is a sophomore at Arizona State University.