In the 2 ½ years that husband and wife Vijay Desai and Mital Patel have owned the Village Apothecary, they have made few noticeable changes. Mital and Vijay, each 31 years old, met at the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy in Boston. Mital grew up in North Carolina and Vijay in New York City, the son of a pharmacist. WestView News interviewed Mital about the planned renovation.
WestView News: What can we expect from the renovation?
Mital Patel: Starting from the instant customers enter Village Apothecary, we want to elevate their experience. The point of the renovation is to bring a better connection with our customers as well as the West Village community. There will be no interruption of service during the renovation scheduled for June-September. We hope customers will tell us which products they want. Our goal is to make customers happy. Note that the last renovation of the store was in the 1980’s.
WVN: How has the business been doing under your ownership?
MP: It is growing—I am happy to say. We enjoy getting to know people in the community. As I said, we welcome their suggestions.
WVN: How do you compete with the national chains?
MP: We are not concerned about competition from them. They cannot match us for customer service. I worked for a chain pharmacy for 3 years. I hated the way they dealt with customers and I hated working there. National chains actually help our business by sending dissatisfied customers to Village Apothecary. Customers always tell us horror stories of dealing with chain pharmacies. Our customers take pride in the fact they know their pharmacist by name and that Village Apothecary will take care of their needs. We are lucky to have retained a loyal staff, including five employees who have been here over ten years.
WVN: Any final comments?
MP: We want to thank the West Village community for supporting Village Apothecary for the past 30 years and look forward to the next 30!
346 Bleecker Street (corner of W 10th St.)