At a time when big chain pharmacies like Duane Reade and Rite Aid seem to occupy every city corner, one mom and pop spot in Chelsea is still going strong.
Owner Aleks Abdurakhmanov said the continued success of Chelsea Royal Care Pharmacy at 154 Ninth Ave. is due to the high level of personal attention and care he gives to his loyal customer base.
"I truly enjoy working directly with my patients," Abdurakhmanov, 36, said. It's not unusual for him to call patients a day or two after filling a prescription to check-in on them and see how they're feeling.
He also provides all senior citizens a 10% discount, and often works to make medication affordable for those without healthcare.
The pharmacy fills about 130 prescriptions daily, Abdurakhmanov said.
Customers insist that a pharmacy with such a personal touch is a dying breed in New York.
"Can you imagine a pharmacist from Duane Reade calling up the patient to see how they feel?" asked Alec Barnet, 43, a customer at Chelsea Royal Care and local resident. He added, "unless he's packed, Aleks puts together the prescriptions in five minutes or less."
Barnet said Abdurakhmanov also has a relationship with his doctor, and they work together to address Barnet's health needs.
The pharmacist moved to New York from Russia in 1995, and first worked in a pharmacy in Harlem.
He opened Chelsea Royal Care in September 2010.
"I wanted to play a key role in helping patients get better," he said.