Written by Joy Robinson, Manhasset@antonnews.com Thursday, 22 August 2013 00:00
Anthony and Peter Mercaldo have a lot in common. Today, they are both pharmacists sharing the same business role serving the Manhasset community. According to younger brother Peter, both excelled in science and math and life just lead them down the very same path – 588 Plandome Road to be exact – home to local pharmacy favorite: MacLennan.
“Who better to work with than your own family,” said Peter. “I’ve obviously known Anthony my entire life so I know what to expect and he’s a pleasure to work with,” added Peter who smiled when he said he can probably finish his older brother Anthony’s sentences. Anthony owned another pharmacy on the south shore, but once they learned MacLennan Pharmacy was on the market, the brothers seized the opportunity and went into business together in 1994.
“Coming to work is like coming home,” said Peter. The two brothers still reside in the town they grew up in, Wantagh, on Long Island’s South Shore. Many people have questioned why never a name change for MacLennan Pharmacy? How come not Mercaldos? Perhaps, it’s part of that 1948 charm. Anthony and Peter take pride in having held onto the nostalgic, warm and original “mom and pop” reputation and storefront that stood so long ago.
“We just felt why change it, this was the name since 1948 and it has stayed that way ever since,” said Anthony, who along with his brother, does everything for the business from filling prescriptions, purchasing, conversing with doctors daily. “When doctors call, they speak to us, not technicians or voicemails,” said Anthony. The best thing for them is being in close contact with their customers. They’ve built quite a rapport – often remembering the personal prescriptions better than the patrons themselves. Genovese (now Rite Aid) came into the neighborhood around the same time the Mercaldos bought their business. According to the Mercaldos, it did not pose a problem and actually helped them because many people didn’t prefer the “chain” type of mentality serving their needs.
The MacLennan staff consists of about a dozen employees. Duties include stocking shelves, answering phones, helping with refills and answering questions. The majority of MacLennan’s staff are people who live in the area, some go to school and work during the summer and holidays. The farthest employees are the Mercaldos, but they’re here everyday despite rain, sleet and snow and even hurricanes. They lost power for over a week after Superstorm Sandy, but they came in everyday to ensure customers had their medications while keeping records readable by candlelight.
They know practically every customer who comes in by face and name. “We watched many of the children grow up from the age of two and now many have graduated college,” said Anthony.
Anne Attard has been a customer since the beginning. “I’ve been coming here since the original MacLennan was here and it’s the same great service,” said Mrs. Attard, who lived in Manhasset for 45 years and now resides nearby in Port Washington.
MacLennan store hours are Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday 9 to 6 p.m.