July 26, By Jason Cohen
A new pharmacy is coming to the Queens Plaza section of Long Island City this fall.
Ray Schwartz, a pharmacist for more than 50 years, will be launching his first business, Healthy Living, at 42-15 Crescent Street in the Luna building. Schwartz said the goal is to begin building in the next few weeks and have the store open around Halloween or early November.
According to Schwartz, the pharmacy will be customer-service driven and offer vitamins, health food supplements as well as prescriptions. It will also offer organic and eco-friendly baby products, organic cosmetics and eco-friendly pet supplies.
Schwartz, a Long Island City resident, said that he and his co-owners Barry Nysenbaum and Ella Yakubova met 10 years ago when he was their supervisor at the Manhattan-based New York Hotel Trades Council Pharmacy, which would serve hotel union members.
The three of them kept in touch and recently began looking into opening a business together. After doing some research, they realized with Long Island City’s booming residential market that retail was in demand.
He said he spoke to residents who told him that there was a need for a pharmacy in the area. His findings were backed up by a LIC Partnership retail study that came out last week that revealed that residents viewed drug stores among the top three most needed stores in the neighborhood.
Schwartz said that he is looking forward to being his own boss.
“We’ve always worked for other people,” he said. “We put our heads together and said let’s work for ourselves. We’re nervous, but I think we’ll do well because I think we have a good location.”
Healthy Living is not the only drug store coming to the Queens Plaza/Court Square area.
City Chemist, a drugstore with locations in Brooklyn and Long Island, will open a 5,200 square foot store in early 2018 on the ground floor of The Hayden, a 50-story building owned by Rockrose that opened this year at 43-25 Hunter Street.