Lou Cassara, owner of Barths Pharmacies, purchased Cutchogue Drugstore last month and has given it a makeover.
“It’s more spacious, open and bright,” Mr. Cassara said. “We really want to grow this business.”
Customers can expect some changes to the operation, which has been around for about 100 years, he said. There’s a new coat of paint but, most importantly, the business has expanded into the former dental office next door. With a larger space and a wider product selection, Mr. Cassara and partner Vincent Alibrandi hope to attract more customers in the area. Something that will continue, however, is the original name.
“At Barths, we care,” Mr. Cassara said. “That’s the difference between us and a chain. Little things make a business a success. You have to care about the people — and all my pharmacists care.”
Mr. Cassara, a pharmacist himself, has worked in the field for nearly 35 years. He also owns Barths locations in Jamesport, East Quogue, Westhampton Beach and East Moriches. The latter is the main compounding facility, where capsules, creams and other medications are made.
“We’re not just two guys who came in here said, ‘I’m going to run a pharmacy,’ ” Mr. Cassara said. “We are in the pharmacy business already.”
“You just have to believe in what you’re doing and go do it,” he added. “There’s not a lot of ego. You don’t need an ego to be successful, you just need brains.”
Mr. Cassara is passionate about expanding his level of service into this new territory. He will also be introducing beach and summer toys, greeting cards, and a full stationery section into the store.
Cutchogue customers will also find a convenient new rear entrance leading out to the parking lot. A small candy section has been added, along with a revamp of the pharmacy department itself.
“I bought Barths Pharmacy in Westhampton from Barry Barth in 2004 and I made him a promise that I would live up to his name in the front,” Mr. Cassara said. “When others asked if I would ever change the name to my name I said no, because that’s not the point.”
Although Mr. Cassara does work at some of his other locations, he will not be the regular pharmacist in Cutchogue.
Instead, Mr. Alibrandi, a pharmacist who owned White’s Pharmacy on the South Fork for about 12 years, will bring his own 30 years’ experience to the new store.
“I’m hoping to bring a lot more to the table that the North Fork hasn’t had in a long time,” Mr. Alibrandi said. “The timing was right to come here. I had recently sold my business and I had a friendship with Lou for over 20 years. I’m excited about expanding on what the previous owners have done and continuing the tradition of Cutchogue Pharmacy. We’re carrying on that tradition and making sure it has that hometown feel.”
The revamped Cutchogue Drugstore is open seven days a week: Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Caption: Two longtime pharmacists, Vincent Alibrandi (left) and Lou Cassara, have partnered to run Cut-chogue Drugstore. They expanded the store and have added a variety of new products.