HILLSBOROUGH, NJ - Nirav Patel is about to realize a dream that began ten years ago as an undergraduate student at Rutgers University,

He graduated with a degree in cell biology, but there was more yet to come, more years of study before he earned his coveted Doctor of Pharmacy degree, which hangs prominently on the wall of his office behind the counter at Hillsboro Pharmacy.

He never lost sight of his dream - owning and operating his own pharmacy.

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Patel, a Hillsborough resident who moved to the township in 2010 from Morris County, is inviting residents to the Grand Opening of the pharmacy, located in a strip mall behind the Urgent Care Center at 256 Route 206 South, Suite 12. There will be raffles, giveaways and refreshments.

Mayor Doug Tomson and township Business Advocate David Kois will cut the ribbon to officially open the pharmacy on Saturday, Oct. 3 at 11 a.m.

Patel intends to set his pharmacy apart from others by doing things "the old-fashioned" way.

"I want to bring back the old pharmacy environment," he said. "Today's chain pharmacies, they don't even know the customers by name," he added.

Taking care of the customers, personalized service, finding lower-priced prescriptions for customers, consulting with their doctors, spending time to educate his customers, taking the time to learn and remember customers' names and free deliveries are just a few of his priorities.

Patel said he'll overlook the fact that someone can't pay for their prescription right away.

"Don't worry about it. Pay me next week," Patel said. "It's all about relationships; that's what's missing in today's world," he added. "I'm here to bring that back."

Having spent six years working at a chain retail pharmacy in the township and ten years total in retail, he found much to criticize, and promises Hillsboro Pharmacy will avoid what he learned to dislike working elsewhere.

Patel had originally planned to open in the spring, but plans changed once the COVID-19 pandemic took hold.

"We got trough it, but t's been a challenge," he said.

Patel, who has a wife and two-year-old son, is working on establishing deeper roots,and hopes to become involved in township events like health fairs, vaccine programs, senior citizen events and working with local businesses.

"Anything I can do to serve the community of Hillsborough," Patel said.

Hillsboro Pharmacy is a TAPinto marketing partner