A new pharmacy in Laurelton promises to not only fill out prescriptions and sell soda but also help out southeast Queens’s growing commercial area and neighborhood leaders said they are happy for the new community member.
Edward Altman, owner of Merrick Pharmacy at 234-28 Merrick Blvd., and his pharmacy staff joined community heads Friday to celebrate the opening of his store, which has been serving customers for the last two months.
Altman, who lives in Brooklyn and has never run a pharmacy store before, said he wanted to create a pharmacy that did not come off as a generic, chain store like other places and wanted to operate in a friendly surrounding.
“In a fast-pace chain, you go in, you go out. There is no interaction,” he said.
The owner said he first got the idea from his wife Marina Reynold, who works as one of the store’s two pharmacists. At the time she was working at a chain pharmacy and was displeased because she could not have a one-on one conversation with her patients to make sure they were comfortable with their prescriptions or to see whether they needed more advice on their health.
“When your wife comes home and says, ‘I can’t serve my patients the way I want,’ ... you look at her and say, ‘You’ve got a good point,’” Altman said.
After some research and discussions with community members in Laurelton, including the Local Development Corp. of Laurelton, Rosedale and Springfield Gardens, Altman decided to open up on Merrick Boulevard in April. He said he was attracted by the friendliness of other business owners, who run delis, Laundromats and restaurants, and the demography of the area.
Altman noted southeast Queens is filled with older residents who are health-conscious and seek advice from pharmacists who are professional and patient.
“When a young mom or dad comes in here and they need to go over anything about medical care, they can talk to the pharmacist,” he said.
Altman and his staff will be going the extra mile for the community by hiring a local pharmacy intern to work in the pharmacy and hone his or her skills.
Several representatives from the area, including state Sen. Malcolm Smith (D-St. Albans) and representatives from the Borough President Helen Marshall and City Councilman James Sanders (D-Laurelton) were on hand to christen the store.
LDC of Laurelton President Michael Charles said he was glad a new business came in because it shows resurgence in small business during the rough economy.
“It signifies a tremendous confidence in our neighborhood,” he said.
Reach reporter Ivan Pereira by e-mail at ipereira@c
©2010 Community News Group
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