THE BEGINNING OF A LEGENDARY HISTORY
At 10 Park Avenue, one of the NYC’s busiest and plushest intersections, Park Avenue and 34th street, Pasteur Pharmacy was founded in February 1st 1961 by Dr. Isidore Farber (after serving as Director of Pharmacology for the Schiefflin Drug firm) and his colleague Dr. Joseph Iliev (after serving as Supervising Pharmacist at the Walgreen chain of drug stores).
The druggists recognized reactions to drugs and helped their patrons and patronesses by consulting doctors for verification and effectiveness. Findings were reported by these two specialists immediately and several times MDs had their prescriptions corrected.
Pasteur Pharmacy had been publicized on TV and Radio for its excellent service as well as top quality in prescriptions drugs, vitamins, surgical support, etc. and was particularly knowledgeable on foreign drugs. No matter how busy the store got, Dr. Farber and Dr. Iliev could always manage to find time for customer service.
Dr. Farber believed in keeping people well and condemned the money grabbing physicians who charged large fees and did not help the patient. “Ethics and service are more important than money” he said, “We try to keep people well at little cost”. His plans were to stablish a health center with a room to fit surgical appliances and to inaugurate a system for health care to avoid time wasted in doctors’ offices and money spent that made people sick.
PASTEUR NAME ORIGIN
The name “Pasteur” was suggested by their mutual friend Dr. Benjamin Smirnoff, named after a famous chemist.
Dr. Smirnoff, who owned “Whitney Pharmacy” spent time with his friends at 10 Park Avenue and was instrumental in helping the present “Pasteur Pharmacy” set up their business and, actually, name it “Pasteur Pharmacy”. He was an incredibly happy, active senior citizen in his interests with people, a humanitarian, and a true friend of music and arts.
PARTNERS FIND DOGS BEST STORE “BARKER”
In dogged pursuit of volume, Pasteur Pharmacy had unleashed a novel promotional technique. Real dogs provided the warp-and-woof of the store’s unusual method of attracting more customers.
Not long after partners Farber and Iliev bought the store at 34th street and Park Avenue, they found that many residents of the neighborhood had dogs. They decided to capitalize on this quite literally “going on the dogs” for additional volume.
As a starter, each customer came in with a dog, they obtained both the customer’s and the dog’s name. A log of 85 dogs’ names had been compiled. As a public relations gesture, the store, for every Christmas, delivered candy dog biscuits to each pet on the list. Dr Farber said many of the pet owners came in to express delighted surprise and then, he counted them among steady customers.
Pasteur carried various items for dogs including Over-The-Counter products, but the store received some calls for prescriptions as well. Dr Farber had found that when customers bought vitamins and other products for their dogs, they quite often made purchases for themselves.
Catering to the canine set was not the only method the partners used to attract and hold more “two-legged” clientele. For Example, when they knew a birth or anniversary dates of customers, they sent cards or small gifts. Hospitalized customers received a card followed by a box of candy when they returned home.
A LITTLE SPACE FOR DENTAL HEALTH
In a 7×5-ft area, Farber stocked his mini-shop with a wide selection of toothbrushes, toothpastes, tooth powder, mouthwash, dental floss, water piks and the like. In addition, the shoppe featured the forerunner of what Farber hoped would bloom into an entire label line of dental care products under the trademark “PlacStop”.
“right now we just have a single item – this tooth powder” he said “But I plan on coming out with a toothpaste as well, an eventually an entire program”.
This was the Program Dr Farber created in seek of kidney donors in 1971. He had then, embarked on another public health project, lining up kidney donors for the National Kidney Foundation. “over 10,000 kidney patients died just this pat year who could have been saved by kidney transplant” Farber said.
Few months before, Farber’s brother, Sidney, approached the pharmacist to ask if he could have helped obtain a kidney transplant for his wife, Gloria, a kidney patient. Dr Farber contacted the foundation and with the cooperation of officials of the organization mounted an all-out campaign to enlist kidney donors. In agreeing to donate a body organ all the donors were required to do was to complete the wallet-size card and carry it all the times. It simply stated that the donor, in event of his death, had agreed to donate specified organs of his body for transplantation, therapy, medical research or education. Hundreds of card were distributed by Dr Farber both in front or inside the store.
A NEW GENERATION TAKES OVER
In January 1987, Pasteur Pharmacy had then met its new team, taking over Dr Farber and Dr Iliev business to keep it growing up. Leon Tarasenko (who used to work for Farber) together with his colleague, Steven Schimmel, both licensed pharmacists graduated from Liu Brooklyn College, started this new challenge of keeping the old tradition of the famously known Pasteur Pharmacy of the excellence in customer service.
Later, in 1992, Pasteur Pharmacy expanded opening a new location at 806 Lexington Ave in the Upper East Side (which was well known originally as “Radoff Pharmacy” founded in 1948 and operated by the Radoff Family), with the intention of bringing more special customer service to New Yorkers.
Tarasenko and Schimmel noticed their customers were highly interested on professional shaving products so, in order to bring more business to the store, they started bringing exclusive and high quality both American and international shaving products and skin care for men. Furthermore, professional hair care products for men and women, also American and international, were included as well.
Nowadays, Pasteur Pharmacy is famously known in New York, not only for specializing in prescriptions but carrying a vast array of specialty products from all corners of the world in hair and skin care, exclusive brushes, shaving, health products, etc. A friendly and professional staff are always happy to assist customers with all their health and beauty needs.
MORE PARTNERS JOIN FOR MORE EXCLUSIVITY
In May 2019, the uptown branch at 806 Lexington Ave acquired the records and prescription files of “Newton Timmermann Pharmacy”, which was founded in 1869 and located at 799 Lexington Ave, run by Martin J Keane and his colleague Steven H Hurowitz, still providing custom-made prescriptions, and exclusive products.