Health, wellness and beauty collide at a boutique pharmacy in Long Island City

Photo courtesy of City Chemist

Long Island City residents looking for a health, wellness and beauty hub should look no further than City Chemist.

Since November 2018, the company has been a “one-stop shop” for the western Queens neighborhood. According to general store manager David Rodrigues, pharmacist Peter LaFranca, and buyer Maica De La Torres, the community’s response to the store has been the same: “Thank God you’re here.”

At the store’s location on 25-29 44th Dr., patrons can fill prescriptions, wax their eyebrows, and get a flu shot, which aligns with the company’s message of marrying beauty and wellness all while catering to customer service and deviating from the typical chain store mentality.

“When a customer comes in looking for a product, instead of telling them which aisle it’s in, we walk them to the aisle and show them where it is,” De La Torres said.

The group said that not only do they try to remember every customer who comes through their doors, but also their significant life events — and even their pets. The “individualized and personalized” attention to detail is what sets them apart from pharmacy chains.

“We always say that we see them [customers] more often than we see our own families, so it’s a different atmosphere,” said LaFranca.

Rockrose Development Corp. approached City Chemist about the opportunity to open the independent pharmacy, citing the residents’ need for services all under one roof. According to Rodrigues, City Chemist pharmacies support “underserved communities” that typically have to travel outside their neighborhoods for necessities.

“Now, people don’t have to go into the city to get what they need,” said Rodrigues.

The company also has outposts in Brooklyn and on Long Island.

De La Torres said that City Chemist’s slogan is “your destination for beauty and wellness.” The founders of the company had long-established careers in the pharmacy industry and decided to expand into the beauty world due to industry demand.

Customers can purchase name brand and generic drug prescriptions at City Chemist or get items over $25 delivered to their homes for free. Patrons can also find the latest in high-end beauty like Tata Harper, Dennis Gross, Laura Mercier and Bobby Brown.

The store recently hosted Laura Mercier and Bobby Brown events that were “very successful with the ladies in the neighborhood.”

If a customer requests products that are not available at the Long Island City store, the staff can request for a product to be transferred from one of their other locations.

“‘We try to accommodate as much as we can, ” LaFranca said. “Clients say, ‘I’ve never seen a pharmacy like this before.'”

City Chemist is open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and weekends from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Visit their website to learn more.

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