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Nov 9, 2010 5:05 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

Possible Reprieve For East Hampton Village Pharmacy

Nov 9, 2010 5:05 PM

As of Tuesday afternoon, Frank Calvo, the owner of the East Hampton Pharmacy, said he was optimistic that he would be able to line up financing from a private investor that would allow him to keep his North Main Street, East Hampton, store open. Mr. Calvo’s second store, on Main Street in Bridgehampton, was closed on Friday.

There was an outpouring of community support—and at least one potential investor came forward—when Mr. Calvo announced on Thursday that he would be forced to close his two stores by the weekend.

“The response has been unreal. It was an unbelievable day with my phone ringing off the hook and people stopping in,” Mr. Calvo said he was prepared to open for business on Saturday morning.

On Thursday night after word spread that he was closing, Mr. Calvo said he received the call offering financial backing. The good news from the call was compounded by outstanding retail sales on Friday, he said.

Mr. Calvo said on Thursday the poor economy and the loss of his bank line of credit were forcing him to close his doors.

In recent weeks, he said he had been searching for private investors to help save him from financial collapse, but to no avail until last week.

“I am waiting for my finance angel to finalize everything fairly soon,” said Mr. Calvo on Saturday. “But in the meantime, I am still serving the public. Sales today were better than in mid-August.”

The news that Mr. Calvo would close both stores and his 22 employees would be out of work was greeted with shock and disbelief last week by customers who came in to have prescriptions filled and commiserate with the shopkeeper.

“The heartbreak for me is not to be able to serve the sick and elderly of my community in this capacity,” he said last week. “For me, it has always been about service and a continuum of care.”

After running his business in East Hampton for eight years, Mr. Calvo expanded his business west to Bridgehampton in February 2008. The Bridgehampton location, beset with construction delays, opened 10 months behind schedule and right on time for the financial crisis.

In August, Mr. Calvo said his bank pulled his line of credit, essentially sealing his fate.

“Many of my clients are housebound and on Medicare,” said Mr. Calvo. “In the event they cannot pay for their medications, we provide special payment plans. We make home deliveries. We are a part of this community.”

At the pharmacy counter on Thursday in East Hampton, patrons were lined up to give Mr. Calvo hugs and words of support—with many giving tearful goodbyes to a man who has served them for eight years.

“He is a wonderful man,” said one of a handful of the East Hampton Pharmacy customers lined up for up for their prescriptions.

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This is awful news, here we have a local business, dedicated to the community, and this happens. Mr. Calvo has supported the community in many ways, not the least of which was never turning away a person in need of the medicine.
Just try and get this type of dedication, and service from CVS.
By EEGO (10), Bridgehampton on Nov 4, 10 4:45 PM
3 members liked this comment
Special thanks to Citibank, and all they and thier cohorts have done to make this possible.
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Nov 4, 10 5:06 PM
2 members liked this comment
Like I have been saying the building Inspectors trying to justify there existence have destroyed 30 more lives. Enough is enough stop the code enforcement delays and harassment.
By joe hampton (3461), south hampton on Nov 4, 10 5:43 PM
You're right, we should just let people building things that aren't up to code... I mean, they codes only exist for safety reasons....

And further, you know for a fact that "construction delays" = code enforcement and harassment by the Town? Perhaps there just wasn't enough business
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Nov 4, 10 7:58 PM
1 member liked this comment
This is a terrible loss. A real shame. Went out of my way to fill prescriptions with them in Bridgehampton. Far prefer the personal touch from Chick Grubb and felt good about supporting such a fine local business. The thought of having to go to Rite Aide makes me nauseous. Another casualty of the recession and a real loss to the downtown.
By 11962local (5), Sagaponack on Nov 4, 10 6:33 PM
2 members liked this comment
Let's add more good news to this story. It's bad enough the building inspectors are of control and the Town wants to make them in charge of Code Enforcement. We all have heard the nightmare stories associated with the building dept., just wait and see what's in store for us if the Town moves forward with this idea. PS didn't they try that years ago, oh well what goes around usually comes back again, only to find out why it didn't work and was changed back to where it is today.
By The Crow's Nest (65), Red Creek on Nov 4, 10 8:41 PM
I am intimately aware of what goes on up at the town and trust me it gets worse every day. These people are out truing to justify there existence at the tax payers expense everyday.No one is saying we should not have building codes just that things should be done in a expedient way, without the bias and commentary. The A.R.B. has become way to powerful and now they want to give Harold Fisher a gun and badge. Wow.
By joe hampton (3461), south hampton on Nov 5, 10 9:22 AM
Anyone who has the power to write a ticket for a code violation can get a badge.

As for the gun...
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Nov 5, 10 3:17 PM
This is indeed a very big loss for the community. Frank and his staff provided the very best service with warmth and compassion...something you will never get at chain drugstores.
By Maxa Luppi (7), Southampton on Nov 5, 10 9:55 AM
I think we all can agree with that Maxa,
By joe hampton (3461), south hampton on Nov 5, 10 10:20 AM
This is really the nail in the coffin for small businesses in East Hampton. The community is really going to suffer. Very soon, there will only be chain stores & franchises running business in this town. Frank is a true small-town proprieter who knew his customers and served them well, and always was fair & sqaure with medication pricing. All of the employees there were so helpful and friendly. The end of an era in a small town that is slowly losing it's identity. I know a miracle is needed. All ...more
By SisBoomBonacker (106), Hamptons on Nov 5, 10 10:22 AM
1 member liked this comment
Somewhere there must be a compassionate financially sound person to help save this community resource. Maxa is right, the care, dedication and warmth found in Frank's stores will never be duplicated by CVS or Rite Aid or anywhere else.
Chain stores linking our community? It is a chain of fools ... and we are all the worse for it. How about Ralph Lauren kicking in some money and saving a local business?
By Nancy Q. (27), east Hampton on Nov 5, 10 10:59 AM
The only business Ralph Lauren will help is Ralph Lauren. Stores like Ralph Lauren, Calypso, Coach, Tiffany et. al. have only contributed to the demise of this town and it's small businesses. Frank Calvo would have a better chance with a Bill Gates or a Warren Buffet, although there's only a few short hours left to save this business............
By SisBoomBonacker (106), Hamptons on Nov 5, 10 11:14 AM
1 member liked this comment
All the above mentioned stores sell clothes not medications. Stick with what you know.
By Hambone (514), New York on Nov 19, 10 2:09 PM
Totally agree with you, but one can only hope that Mr. Lauren could see beyond his self-serving interests. He practically occupies almost every former local business store front, what would it kill him to help out something so needed.
Who knows Bill Gates? Anyone?
By Nancy Q. (27), east Hampton on Nov 5, 10 11:27 AM
I do and Bil says "suck it up"
By Hambone (514), New York on Nov 19, 10 2:09 PM
Very sad. What now??? Rite Aid???? Ughhhh!
By Sagaponack Gal (1), sagaponack on Nov 5, 10 12:50 PM
It's sad that people will lose their jobs - but it's a free market which of course makes America great. The "chain" companies that have moved in and 'ruined' our villages are not to blame. They play by the same free market rules and there are enough people to support them and their businesses, but they are not immune. Starbucks in Southampton closed because it didn't make any money - if there were no market for Tiffany and Ralph Lauren then they would go out of business. Yes, most of their support ...more
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Nov 5, 10 3:23 PM
Nature you clearly aren't from these parts b/c you actually know what you are talking about
By Hambone (514), New York on Nov 19, 10 2:10 PM
Nature you clearly aren't from these parts b/c you actually know what you are talking about
By Hambone (514), New York on Nov 19, 10 2:10 PM
I have to say that I am very sad. Frank has helped my family through the years, and I am sure a lot of yours. To see what is happening East Hampton town with all of the small mom and pop stores gone, takes away from the old feeling of East Hampton. East Hampton needs small businesses... and Southampton as well why are we driving away Frank, and others like him? He made a big committement to this town, and Southampton with all of the work that he did inside and out of the both of the stores. ...more
By sbuckler (1), East Hampton on Nov 5, 10 4:31 PM
He doesn't have the wealth, power, or influence to walk into the Treasury with his hand out.

Plus, he's not the kind of guy who would spit in the face of the American people, like most recipients of bailouts did.
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Nov 7, 10 6:02 PM
The 7:53pm update is good news indeed. Apparently someone was listening.

In response to "Nature", most of the storefronts on Main Street in East Hampton are tax write-off's for these businesses. They don't generate enough income to be profitable on an annual basis. While yes they do turn a profit during the summer that only encompases 90 days of the year. Not enough time to be running in the "black" for the whole year.
By Sag Native (54), East Hampton on Nov 5, 10 8:50 PM
Just when you think that there isn't hope for those who are an important part of the community and disaster looms for those who are good a miracle happens. Good for Frank, thanks to those who helped and good for us. There is still good in this world. Fact
By facts man (148), east hampton on Nov 6, 10 9:28 AM
Just make sure you read ALL the fine print regarding that "financial relief", depending on where it's coming from.

Stay away from anything called a "Credit Default Swap" like it's the plague, becuase IT IS. Ask the folks in Jefferson County, Alambama how well the "swap" worked for them.

One of the nobler notions in my mind, is that the call was from BNB.
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Nov 7, 10 6:00 PM
Yippee! Go get 'em Frank I wish I had the money to save you!
By Q333 (161), Southampton on Nov 7, 10 8:53 PM
Credit Default Swap?? What does that have to do with Frank's bank loan Mr. Z? Unpleasant truth is that Frank got ahead of himself by expanding into Bridgehampton. Glad to hear someone came to his aid. I was all set to move to White's.
By harbor (415), East Hampton on Nov 8, 10 3:17 PM
Sorry, I meant "interest rate swap".

My bad...
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Nov 8, 10 6:48 PM
Frank is the truly a asset to East Hampton. He employ's locals all with a great understanding of community. Despite the lack foresight by our good natured financial institutions (yea right!) at least their is one person with enough money in East Hampton to understand what a tremendous asset Frank Calvo and the businesses are.
All that said once again the failed financial polices of Bush and Obama administrations almost made another causality of local business. Obamacare must be repealed ...more
By snakeoilsalesman (13), East Hampton on Nov 9, 10 9:22 AM
Regulate the financial industry, and for profit health care.

That would damn near solve it all, with the exception of human greed...
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Nov 9, 10 7:53 PM
I am SO happy that things are looking up for Frank and his employees!!! It would have been a terrible loss for our community! Good luck to his "Angel"!
By gansetteer (125), East Hampton on Nov 10, 10 10:16 AM
These notes on the fate of small businesses, the national economy , etc are missing the essential, unique point. A kind, empathic pharmacist is a wonderful asset and huge component of one’s “quality of life” when very sick, or chronically ill. Losing Frank’s pharmacies would be like losing a beloved personal physician.. The monthly, or perhaps weekly, and sometimes daily visits to the pharmacy become part of one’s ‘illness experience’, and that experience ...more
By lailaz (1), Bridgehampton on Nov 12, 10 11:17 AM
Its a great place too shop. We travel from Southampton to shop there.
By Yearround Resident (23), Southampton on Nov 14, 10 9:09 PM
By Hambone (514), New York on Nov 19, 10 2:11 PM