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Change is good - especially at Eye Supply

"It's definitely like a family here," Rose Grieco, a manager at the store, said as the bright afternoon sun lit up the room. "It can be a lot of fun."

Dr. Joe Goncalves, a full-time optometrist at the Bell Boulevard business, said the sun shone brighter at Eye Supply when owner Mark Weintraub made a management switch three years ago.

Since then, Goncalves said, the focus of the store at 39-25 Bell Blvd. and the staff has changed.

"We're here to help people," he said. "It's about service."

Dan Maldonado, an optician at the store, said, "Our main goal is not to make money - it's to build relationships."

The pair's emphasis on service shows in how they deal with their customers, most of whom they know by name.

"We're not just a cookie-cutter system here," Maldonado said. "Each patient is not just a number."

Eye Supply offers a wide range of options to its customers, including eye exams, contact lenses, glasses, sunglasses, specialized lenses, and sportswear. Goncalves is also certified to treat eye infections and diseases.

"A lot of places just do glasses," he said.

Maldonado said that in a trendy industry, laser eye surgery has put a dent in the optometry business. But with an intensified effort toward customer service, he said, "it hasn't really affected us."

Grieco, who has been with the company for five years, said the friendly and fun atmosphere at the store helps intensify the "community connections" the staff has developed on Bell Boulevard.

Maldonado said that being in Bayside has let the group "build up a lot of relationships in the area. We've become a familiar face here."

Goncalves said the staff's ability to make connections with customers and area residents has led to a lot of repeat business.

"It makes us different from the rest," he said. "We're out to help people."

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