By Rich Bockmann
Bell Boulevard in Bayside has two Rite Aids, but if you are willing to travel a little farther north on the shopping strip, you will come across a pharmacy that offers some unique products you cannot find anywhere else.
Billing itself as a European-style alternative to the citywide chain stores, Sterling Pharmacy carries the Band-Aid and the Colgate brands you would expect to find on shelves all over Queens. But it also stocks a unique collection of organic and natural products attractive to today’s conscientious consumer.
“You can get your meds at any location and they’re all the same,” said supervising pharmacist and partner Chris Tsatsaronis. “I’d say half of what we have here you can find at a traditional pharmacy, and the other half is aimed at customers who are that much more aware of the benefits of natural products.”
Brands like Beyond Coastal — a line of sun-care products developed by a skier and surfer who advocates for public health and environmental justice — are built around the premise of not only using natural ingredients, but also effectively labeling what goes into products.
“I firmly believe it’s advantageous to pay attention to not only what we ingest, but also what we put on our body,” Tsatsaronis said.
The shop carries brands like Lansinoh, a line of products for breast feeding mothers; MD Moms, high-quality skin care products for children; and Dr. Bronner’s, an eco-friendly line of soaps, balms and lotions.
Tsatsaronis said about nine out of 10 products he stocks come with refunds if a customer is unsatisfied.
Sterling also has a large display area dedicated to products by Melissa & Doug, an American toy manufacturer that makes old-fashioned playthings like coloring books, bubbles and ice cream cone play sets.
The pharmacy, which opened in early April, offers a service called “compounding” in which a pharmacist can change the form of a medication — say, from a pill to a liquid gel — for patients with special needs.
The service is popular with customers ordering medications for pets or children, and Tsatsaronis said flavors like watermelon or grape can even be added to help youngsters take their meds.
He is also hoping that within the next few months Sterling will start offering delivery service to the greater Bayside area.
The pharmacy, at the corner of Bell Boulevard and 38th Avenue, is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday to Friday and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays.
For more information, call 718-224-7300 or visit sterlingpharmacyny.com.
Reach reporter Rich Bockmann by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4574.