By Bill Parry
The owner of a popular Sunnyside pet store has expanded, opening a second location in Astoria last month. Wespaw Pet Pharmacy, located at 37-15 23rd Ave., brings pet owners quality medication with excellent customer service.
“Our main focus is to bring affordable health care to the pets of western Queens,” owner Sam Abdrabouh said. “I’d love the consumer to shop us before they go anywhere else. We’ve been well received in Astoria. I find it convenient and lively and the location is very accessible, allowing us to deliver to our customers in all five boroughs and beyond.”
The veterinarian-exclusive pharmacy, the first of its kind in Astoria, caters to all animals filling called-in or faxed prescriptions. Wespaw Pharmacy delivers the same or next day free of charge to the customer.
Abdrabouh has been a licensed veterinary pharmacist for the last 15 years and owned a similar pharmacy on Manahattan’s Upper East Side before he decided to open Wespaw Pets in February 2013. The store, in a former OTB location at 44-05 Queens Blvd., was embraced by Sunnyside’s vibrant community of pet-owners.
“I couldn’t believe how popular we became in western Queens,” Abdrabouh said. “The support we got from out customers, community groups and pet rescues was very surprising.”
He was embraced for his friendly demeanor, allowing dogs and cats to play in the aisles of his store that carries a broad range of products from food and nutritional supplies, toys and accessories to pet-related greeting cards. Abdrabough got involved in the community as well, donating equipment to a new dog run at Lou Lodati Park.
“I found Sunnyside to be a treasure —immediately,” Abdrabouh said. He discovered the area after reading a 2010 New York Magazine article that ranked Sunnyside as the third most livable neighborhood in the city.
“Nate Silver called it a hidden gem in the article. I had to see it for myself,” Abdrabouh said. “After walking Skillman and Greenpoint, I noticed the diversity of the residents. I also noticed the number of pet owners. Before that visit I had barely ever been in Queens.”
He believes the success at both his locations is simple.
“Our customer service is always excellent,” Abdrabouh said. “That and our prices are very affordable compared to others in the tri-state.”
A pharmacist is always on hand at the Astoria location to answer questions and provide specialized advice. Prescriptions can also be transferred by phone at 718-406-9653.
Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at bparr