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Christy Constantinides and her husband Apollon Constantinides Jr. at their Lakeside Pharmacy in Cumming. (click for larger version)
October 17, 2012CUMMING Ga. — This month, Lakeside Pharmacy celebrated the one-year anniversary of its expansion to a larger space on the Northside Hospital Forsyth campus, 1505 Northside Boulevard, Suite 1600, in Cumming.
Lakeside first opened for business in Northside's 1100 building in 2001 with owner and pharmacist Apollon Constantinides Jr. and one other employee.
After 10 years, the company has grown to about 23 employees and its original 1,500-square-foot area began to hinder them.
"We were crammed for space and there was nowhere else I could go over there," Constantinides said.
In October of 2011, the practice moved to Northside's 1500 building, which allowed Lakeside to triple its space to 4,500 square feet.
"We've got everybody under one roof now," Constantinides said. "That was one of the best things we've ever done."
An expanding pharmacy business is nothing new to Lakeside's owner.
Constantinides started gaining experience at the age of 12 when he began working for his father's company.
Over time, Constantinides began to appreciate the work his father did in his pharmacies and their surrounding communities.
"I originally wanted to be a graphic artist and throughout the years of working at the pharmacy, it was just made clear that this is what I was meant to do," he said.
Then, when his father passed away about 15 years ago, Constantinides realized that following in his footsteps had an even greater impact than he'd realized.
"I really enjoy the connection with my dad," he said of his work in the pharmaceutical industry. "It's the closest I can possibly feel to him, doing what he did all the time, and that means a lot."
In addition to the ties to his father, Constantinides feels the best thing about his job is that many of his family members work with him.
"When you surround yourself with people that you love, people that you trust and it's a family environment, it makes you better at what you do," he said.
Pharmacy Manager Sondra Wood, who was there for Lakeside's initial opening, said it's the employees that help the company stand out among competitors.
"I really and truly feel like everybody gets the best service that they can here," Wood said.
Lakeside's unique benefits include free delivery of medicine by car or boat in their service areas.
Lakeside guarantees most prescriptions can be filled in five minutes or less.
"It's a well-oiled machine. It really is," Wood said. "[Constantinides] really doesn't hold back with expenses to make sure that we're getting the best product [and technology] out there."
For Constantinides, Lakeside's growth has been encouraging, but he does not intend for the business to lose its personal atmosphere.
"We're not just taking care of patients because they're here in the building," Constantinides said. "We're taking care of them for a lifetime."