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Photo: Ryan Kelley/QNS
Louise Gatti (center) cuts the ribbon to signify the grand reopening of Rx Plus Pharmacy in Glendale on July 18 alongside Greg Mitchell from Councilman Robert Holden's office, store cashier Jessica Alejandro, Senator Joseph Addabbo and Assemblyman Mike Miller (from left to right)

The front of the Rx Plus Pharmacy on Myrtle Avenue in Glendale has a brand-new look that was complete with balloons, a blue ribbon and a giant pair of scissors emblazoned with the company’s logo on July 18 to celebrate the store’s grand reopening.

Dozens of loyal customers, employees of the pharmacy and elected officials came to see the newly installed sign on the building and to congratulate owner Louise Gatti, who has run the store for the past 12 years.

State Senator Joseph Addabbo, Assemblyman Mike Miller and a representative from City Councilman Robert Holden’s office all presented Gatti with citations to thank her for her dedicated service to the neighborhood.

Yet, the honors were a complete surprise to Gatti after one of her cashiers, Jessica Alejandro, secretly organized the details of the event with help from Gatti’s family and other staff members.

“I was very surprised today, I have an amazing worker and she’s more like family than she is a worker to me,” Gatti said of Alejandro. “Most of my employees are like that … They come here with the love and they show the business like it’s their own, and I appreciate that every day.”

The unveiling of the sign, which had been in the works since October, turned out to be the perfect cover up to honor Gatti for her accomplishments, Alejandro said. The pharmacy has hosted free events on Easter, Memorial Day, Labor Day and other holidays, as well as giveaways of food and school supplies for many years.

The new sign at Rx Plus Pharmacy (Photo: Ryan Kelley/QNS)

The new sign at Rx Plus Pharmacy (Photo: Ryan Kelley/QNS)

After working at the store for almost a year, Alejandro said that she felt like honoring her boss was something that simply had to be done.

“The amount of love that she has shown to me and the other staff and everybody in the community has been immense,” Alejandro said. “She never thinks about how much money she is going to spend and she has a really big heart. I felt like she needed to finally be recognized.”

The elected officials agreed, as Alejandro said they were immediately on board with her idea. Addabbo spoke first and expressed how happy he was to see such a large crowd of supporters from the community.

“We go to many ribbon cuttings, and we don’t get this crowd,” Addabbo said. “We are so grateful that you are in the community, and you are a real positive influence in the community. For the years of activism and work in the community, we appreciate that.”

Greg Mitchell, chief of staff for Holden, stated Gatti’s importance as a longtime small business owner in the neighborhood.

“Small businesses are the lifeblood of the community,” Mitchell said. “It’s even more special when business owners are great community partners like Louise.”

Jessica Alejandro (left) and Louise Gatti (right) (Photo: Ryan Kelley/QNS)

Jessica Alejandro (left) and Louise Gatti (right) (Photo: Ryan Kelley/QNS)

Miller pointed out that Gatti joined the Kiwanis Club of Glendale when she came to the community and has always been focused on giving back.

“She got involved in the community in a tremendous way, and she does it all the time,” Miller said. “Every time I pass I see all these big celebrations outside, and that’s supporting the community.”

The ceremony concluded with a countdown to the ribbon cutting, and Gatti was thanked with a huge round of applause as she closed the giant scissors. Gatti thanked everyone for their constant support, and she takes pride in her business being family owned, she said.

One loyal customer, Alfonso Castelli, who said he has been coming to the pharmacy for his medications since it first opened 12 years ago, explained that the family atmosphere extends to everyone who walks through the door.

“Everybody is so polite, so every day nobody is grouchy, I come in here and everybody tells me a big hello,” Castelli said. “That’s very rare … people don’t even say good morning anymore to anybody, but at this store it makes me feel like they’re a part of my family.”

Employees of the pharmacy and members of the community who came to celebrate Gatti's achievements (Photo: Ryan Kelley/QNS)

Employees of the pharmacy and members of the community who came to celebrate Gatti’s achievements (Photo: Ryan Kelley/QNS)

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