Pharmacy Times

COMMUNITY PHARMACY STILL GOING STRONG

Author: Kenneth GiaQuinto and Robert GiaQuinto

ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO building your own pharmacy business after graduation? Is your entrepreneurial spirit urging you to take on the challenges and rewards of opening your own pharmacy and creating your own destiny? The role of the independent pharmacy owner has evolved and expanded over the years; today, an independent pharmacy has a myriad of opportunities with a wide variety of niche markets it may service. An account of the history of one pharmacy, Rye Beach Pharmacy (RBP) in Rye, NY, demonstrates the generational success and rewards of independent pharmacy ownership.

RBP is a full-service pharmacy that recently celebrated its 60th anniversary. The pharmacy was originally bought by Marie and Pharmacist Dan GiaQuinto in 1946. This family-owned pharmacy specializes in patient counseling, compounding, bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT), nutritional supplements, natural health products, unique gift items, custom-fitted orthotics, and other homecare products.

Dan and Marie GiaQuinto ran the pharmacy from 1946 to 1967—back then, it had a soda fountain and luncheonette serving burgers to shakes.

Bob and Dennis (sons of Marie and Dan) both graduated from pharmacy school from the State University of New York at Buffalo and began taking over the leadership of the store.

In 1974, the old pharmacy was bulldozed, cleared out, and repaved as a parking lot so the newly completed RBP could open the next day. Originally, the pharmacy only took the first floor and basement space, while 3 doctors occupied the second floor. Today, RBP's premises total more than 7500 square feet, spread over 3 floors. The property won architectural awards for its unique arches incorporated into the building. The interior was completely remodeled in 1996, continuing its tradition as a beautiful neighborhood icon.

The staff now includes more than 55 full-and part-time employees, with at least 6 pharmacists onsite on any given day, plus 1 pharmacist (Rosella Menta) working from home conducting BHRT consultations. The pharmacy department is lead by Steven Dershowitz, RPh, and has been the cornerstone of the store for the past 6 years.

RBP's natural product department is run by Ronald May, RPh, who is available in the aisle for any herbal and product information requested by our patients. RBP strongly believes in a proactive approach of vitamins and nutrition to achieve one's optimal health.

RBP also has a state-of-the-art prescription compounding lab, equipped with a Class 10,000 clean room, laminar flow hood, powder hood, capsule machines, ointment mills, electronic balances, and an unguator. Peter Perfito, RPh, runs the lab and manages the compounding specialists that focus their whole day in the lab. Currently, RBP focuses on customized medications in BHRT, veterinary needs, and pain management, which includes servicing the New York Rangers, Knicks, and Liberty.

The GiaQuinto family wants to thank all their employees who made customers feel special and became part of the Rye Beach family—without your individual efforts, we would just be another pharmacy.

Mr. Kenneth GiaQuinto is the vice president of operations at Rye Beach Pharmacy. Mr. Robert GiaQuinto is the owner and president of Rye Beach Pharmacy.