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Neighborhood appreciation part of Classic Pharmacy’s longevity

What’s in a name?

When it comes to Classic Pharmacy, that name seems like a perfect fit.

While the 25-year member of the Staten Island Chamber of Commerce handles the usual pharmacy needs of the community, customers have learned to expect the classic traits of an old-school, local pharmacy. That became evident recently as a chain pharmacy opened less than 500 feet from the established Sunnyside pharmacy only to close a few years later.

“It showed that the neighborhood really appreciates the small, family-type business. It shows the relationships you have with people,” said president Edward Brancale. “I have people coming to me for years and years. They move, and they still come. It’s a relationship that you build.”

While Classic Pharmacy was able to hold off the charge of that chain, he said it has become harder for smaller pharmacies to withstand recent changes. In addition to the growth of chain pharmacies, Brancale cites different medical coverages from years ago plus the requirement of mail-order prescriptions demanded by insurance companies as some examples of how the landscape in the field has changed.

Despite those changes, the business – which moved a few doors down on Clove Road just a few years ago to a smaller location — continues to rely on the strong relationships with their customers for success. 

“We have a strong neighborhood base. I’m dealing with my third generation of people – grandparents, parents, and now kids,” said Brancale. “I have contacts and relationships with physicians, and I have good relations with some of the hospitals and the different departments.”

Since Brancale understands the struggles for small businesses, it’s no wonder that he uses the Chamber’s annual Consumer Guide when he’s looking for assistance.

“When I get the book, I leaf through it. I deal with many of the people that are in there. And I’ve used references from a couple of people who are longstanding business people,” he said.

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