Helping People Live Better
Ten Acres Pharmacy goes above and beyond for community
By Jessica Laskey
Sonya Frausto and I have been talking by phone for only a few minutes before she pauses to greet a customer who’s come into her store for a COVID test. She points the customer in the right direction, continues our interview and then bids him farewell a few minutes later.
Frausto is the owner of Ten Acres Pharmacy, an independent pharmacy on Freeport Boulevard that opened last August in the midst of the pandemic. The store offers free COVID tests every day from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (registration required), which keeps Frausto busier than ever on top of her normal duties running what she calls a “functional health pharmacy.”
“We’re about helping people live better, not just treating symptoms,” says Frausto, a self-described military brat who spent her childhood living all over the world, including in Germany for six years during the fall of the Berlin Wall.
“It’s important that someone can come in and feel comfortable enough to ask me a question so I can guide them through decisions about their health. Being healthy is about self-care, having a good diet, exercising, eating well, sleep, hygiene—not just prescriptions.”
Frausto first discovered her affinity for pharmacy work as a middle schooler living in Hawaii. While volunteering for church, she worked in a pharmacy for her first mentor, who impressed Frausto with his ability to have personal interactions with his patients.
“He knew their name, their family’s names, their medications and something special about each person,” the West Sacramento resident recalls. “I thought, I want to be like that—to have the knowledge to help guide patients, but also be part of their lives. From that point on, I knew I was going to be a pharmacist.”
When her family left Hawaii to settle in Sacramento for her dad’s new job at Mather Air Force Base, Frausto threw herself into school work. She did her undergraduate studies at Southwestern Oklahoma State and Sacramento State, then went to pharmacy school at USC. While earning her master’s degree in gerontology and Doctor of Pharmacy degree, Frausto was exposed to the local pharmacy association and set her sights on becoming an independent owner upon graduation.
But school was not cheap, so the new grad saved up while working for two regional chains, Rite Aid and Raley’s. Though Frausto was grateful for the experience, she knew the “rat race” of metrics, deadlines and quotas didn’t suit her. She wanted to shift her focus back to the patient.
Eventually, Frausto and her husband saved up enough money to buy a franchise opportunity through Health Mart and built out their own store on Freeport Boulevard. During the construction process, they made the acquaintance of physician Thomas Anker, an osteopath who shares their well-rounded approach to health. A partnership burgeoned and now Anker sees patients and operates his practice, Omic Wellness, out of Ten Acres.
The pharmacy also offers a host of other services, including an on-call respiratory therapist and dietician, contraception, immunizations, pet medications, the ProLon dietary program (which Frausto personally tested before bringing it to the store), telehealth and even genetic testing.
To further support the health of her community, Frausto has made sure her over-the-counter products are primarily sourced from local small and women- or minority-owned businesses. She carries first-aid kits made by a veteran organization, greeting cards made by high school and college students to support their tuition, and locally made masks and candles. She also features a rotating exhibit of local art, where 90 percent of the profits go back to the artists.
“At the end of the day, success is about having a positive attitude and a good support system,” Frausto says. “The only way we’re going to be successful is if we support our community.”
For more information, visit tenacrespharmacy.com. Ten Acres Pharmacy is located at 2930 Freeport Blvd.
Jessica Laskey can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram: @insidesacramento.