By Madina Toure
A Flushing pharmacy nearing its one-year anniversary aims to serve as a hometown drugstore for residents in the area.
Bowne Chemists, located at 161-03 29th Ave., offers medicine, toiletries and even has a coffee bar where customers can grab a cup of Joe while they are waiting for their prescriptions. The pharmacy also offers delivery, pickup and curbside service.
Alex Matsikas, 32, and the four other owners, all from Flushing and Whitestone, decided to start the pharmacy to serve the neighborhood.
“We just feel like the area needed a little hometown pharmacy,” Matsikas said. “Everybody knows each other.”
Matsikas attended PS 21, JHS 185 and St. Francis Preparatory School and received his Doctor of Pharmacy from St. John’s University in 2007.
While he was at St. John’s, he worked as an intern at the Rite Aid on Francis Lewis Boulevard and at an independent pharmacy in the Bronx for seven years after he graduated from St. John’s.
Bowne Chemists offers personalized care to its customers. Through synchronization, customers can pick up all the medications they need once a month in multi-dose packaging.
The pharmacy also uses the compounding process to turn pills into liquid to make it easier for customers to take their medications.
“We just try to do as much personal care as possible,” Matsikas said.
Matsikas also noted that prescription co-pays depend on insurance and that the pharmacy’s prices either match or beat competitors such as Rite Aid, CVS and Duane Reade.
“Even though we’re a small store, we have access to 30,000 products we can get the next day,” he said.
The pharmacy also works to stay connected with the community.
Matsikas sits on the board of the Bowne Park Civic Association. The pharmacy has given talks at the meetings on colon cancer and immunization and participated in a holiday tree lighting ceremony.
The pharmacy also hosted a book signing for Joanne Angel Barry’s “Healing Within Meditation” ast month, and posts health tips on its Facebook page.
Reach reporter Madina Toure by e-mail at mtour