Relative newcomers to Greenwich, Suzanna and Dimitri Damiarov are a long way from the Central Asian former republics of USSR where they spent their childhoods. Arriving in Greenwich via New York City, the couple – she a licensed pharmacist and he, former owner of Romanoff Supermarket – have bucked the chain-store trend by setting up a mom-and-pop shop on Greenwich Avenue.
In what most would consider a bold if not brave move, on Nov. 15, 2010, the Damiarovs opened at 116 Greenwich Ave. The address is almost directly across the street from pharmacy giant, CVS.
The husband and wife team are unlikely newcomers to Greenwich. Dimitri hails from Tajikistan, and Suzanna, whose parents were both pharmacists. The couple raise their three young children in New York City. They are both multilingual. Inasmuch as their status as immigrants makes them bona fide New Yorkers, their unique world-view has resulted in an out-of-the-box retail pharmacy model for Greenwich.
Indeed, the Damiarovs have New York City expectations: They expect personal service. They expect free deliveries. They expect a bargain.
Reverse sticker shock phenomenon
People ask me, “What does free pick up and delivery mean?” explained Dimitri. “We come from New York City. Deliveries are free. It’s standard.” In Greenwich, where many customers are accustomed to paying $15 for a delivery, even on a $3 prescription, the concept has left people scratching their heads.
Free Means Free
Damiarovs employ two full time drivers, and for those too embarrassed to ask the significance of “free,” as in free pickup and free delivery, it entails a driver coming to your residence or doctor’s office to pick up your prescription, and, afterward, a driver delivering your prescription to your residence at no cost.
Transferring prescriptions other pharmacies
Customers can transfer their prescription history to Greenwich Pharmacy from another pharmacy with a single phone call or visit. No paper work. No insurance files. Name, address and date of birth are all that are needed to pull up your insurance information and current prescription in the pharmacy database.
"On average we transfer 10 to 20 CVS customers a day," said Dimitri.
Contracts with Manufacturers of Medications and Coupons
While some doctors give their patients coupons, not every pharmacy accepts them. Greenwich Pharmacy not only accepts them, they keep stacks of them on hand. They are contracted directly with pharmaceutical manufacturers and receive coupons directly.
Savings and Free Planners
Through coupons and extra effort – Dimitri spends a lot of time on the phone with manufacturers getting patients approved for discounted prices – savings add up. “For the one year we’ve been here, we’ve saved our customers approximately $50,000,” he said.
Greenwich Pharmacy provides daily planners – those little plastic pill trays. Filling these trays with several prescriptions and breaking them into “am” and “pm” compartments is a time consuming task for which many pharmacies apply a fee. Greenwich Pharmacy provides the service for no charge. Dimitri says, “Some times people don’t realize they’re being charged for the planners, usually $15 per tray.”
Personal Service, House Accounts
“The level of personal service exceeds what we’re accustomed to in Greenwich,” said Carline Martin, a longtime Greenwich resident who lives within walking distance of three pharmacies. “I think there’s been an absence of mom and pops and people are looking for that personal connection.”
Customers can request to set up a house account and receive a monthly bill. As in, “Put this on my account Dimitri,” as a customer rushes off to catch a train.
High-End Cosmetics and Skin Care Product Lines
Dimitri serves as buyer and manages the business side of the operation. He is especially proud of the pharmacy’s upscale cosmetics lines. “We’re the only store in Connecticut that exclusively sales ‘3Lab’ skin care.”
The couple counts Greenwich Pharmacy as their fourth, with one in Stamford and two in the city.
Greenwich Pharmacy is at 116 Greenwich Ave.
Hours: Seven days a week, 9 a.m. to 7p.m. including Christmas eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.