LAKELAND, Fla. — The husband and wife team behind a Lakeland mom and pop pharmacy are known for their hard work and open hearts.

And they are making a big difference for members of the community.

What You Need To Know

Pharmacists Sonia and Peter Patel have been owners at Lakeland’s Cleveland Heights Pharmacy for almost 20 years.

And both are proud that this is an independent pharmacy, the approach being customers or patients are treated like friends and family.

“We know our patients very well,” said Sonia Patel. “We know the medications they are on, their underlying conditions and we’re always here to assist them with any problem they have.”

Customer Karen Zimmerman, who nominated the Patels as Everyday Heroes, said she was calling attention to the couple for their kindness and selflessness in serving the community.

Like the way they helped during the pandemic.

“We noticed that some of the older generation had issues with booking appointments with tech like going online,” Peter said.

So working with the department of health, they started offering the vaccine. They started with walk-in appointments and when it proved to be so popular Sonia and Peter brought in a nurse.

They also have been working closely with local doctors and hospitals in support of their patients. They’ve also worked closely with local mental health providers to combat the opiod crisis.

It’s a “mom and pop” shop with a simple philosophy.

“Customer service has always been the most important part of what we do here,” Peter said. “And listening to the patients and finding out what their needs are.”