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Dec 14, 2010 1:57 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

Out Of Time And Options, Pharmacy Closes

Dec 14, 2010 1:57 PM

Last Wednesday morning, customers approaching the front door of the East Hampton Pharmacy found it locked, and a red and white CVS Pharmacy sign posted in the window explaining that the pharmacy was closed. Inside, workers were starting to cover the shop’s windows with cardboard.

Those trying to get in touch with the store’s owner, pharmacist Frank Calvo, are greeted with an automated message from the CVS Pharmacy on Pantigo Road in East Hampton Village, where the store’s prescription records have been transferred.

After weeks of negotiations with private investors, Mr. Calvo was forced to close his business last week.

The night before the shop’s closing was made official, customers and friends gathered to offer support to Mr. Calvo and the pharmacy’s 10 employees. Mr. Calvo had wrangled until the start of last week with prospective investors, hoping for a $500,000 cash infusion for his independent pharmacy, but to no avail.

“My two stores were like my two kids,” said Mr. Calvo. “I lost Bridge, and now I lost the East Hampton store. I muddle through. I am going to be okay, but it’s hard. People are still sick, people still need their drugs, so I can’t stand behind the counter and cry.”

When he was forced to close his Bridgehampton store last month, Mr. Calvo moved its inventory to his East Hampton shop. He said he was afraid the value of his stock will not offset his debt and he may be forced into personal bankruptcy.

“It has been an honor to work for Frank,” said employee Jennifer Chavez, who has worked at the East Hampton location since it opened eight years ago. “He has been the best boss. He has done so much for this community; this is a real loss for everybody.”

Mr. Calvo and one of his employees will move over to CVS.

“I am not sure what I am going to do, I guess look for a job eventually,” added Ms. Chavez.

Once the news of the store’s sad end spread throughout the East End community, Mr. Calvo said he was inundated with calls.

“A lot of people have called today, doctors and local organizations, saying they were sorry and wanted to know where do I go now? What do I do?”

On hand to comfort disappointed employees and explain the situation to concerned clients, a shaken Mr. Calvo recommended the services of several other local pharmacies.

“People have a choice of pharmacy. I will be joining CVS on Thursday and still serving the community, but in a different capacity,” he said. “I’ll be wearing a shirt and tie, which is a big change for me.”

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the door was not locked and there was no cardboard on the windows when you wrote this...get your facts straight!!!
By SueHas (5), East Hampton on Dec 8, 10 7:53 PM
At least frank didnt sit around mope and collect unemployment. To his credit he went right out and got a job.
By razza5350 (1911), East Hampton on Dec 22, 10 2:42 PM
What kind of idiot thinks that a business owner can collect unemployment.
By jose1 (28), southampton on Dec 22, 10 3:41 PM
idiot? nice. Google "business owner collect unemployment" and see who the idiot is. FYI His business closed he is no longer a business owner
By razza5350 (1911), East Hampton on Dec 22, 10 4:30 PM
You heard it here first. All you contractors have to do is lay yourself off and you can collect.
By jose1 (28), southampton on Dec 22, 10 4:56 PM
The key is the business must be shut down to collect. The system sucks. You can actually still be working and collect re-employment benefits as well. The Gvt will pay you to re educate you for a new job while you are working. Tax payer dollars at work
By razza5350 (1911), East Hampton on Dec 24, 10 9:02 AM