One of the newest businesses in Egleston Square is the independently-owned Bravo Pharmacy, which opened earlier this year and prides itself on its exceptional customer service.
Owner Dmitri Limkov explained why he opened up in Egleston Square.
“It had to be in JP,” said Linkov, of the business nestled between Anique Nicole Hair Salon and Pin Bochince Restaurant at 3158 Washington St. “I see JP as the Liberty Island of Massachusetts. That’s where everything started. Minorities and working people all blend in so many diverse communities.”
“If you look at JP as the hub of where all those cultures converge it’s going to be Egleston Square as the center. [Egleston Square has a] JP zip code, but it’s really in the middle of Roxbury and Jamaica Plain. There is so much pride here it makes me feel proud.”
Linkov said that the market for storefronts in Jamaica Plain is tight. “Driving around I looked at the Latin Quarter and there was nothing available and then I saw this blank empty space here on Washington Street and I started talking to the landlord.”
But why a pharmacy? Linkov has experience as a co-owner and manger of health care businesses and he wanted an opportunity of his own.
“The beautiful thing about Egleston Square is that there are not that many pharmacies,” said Linkov. “But I’d never opened a pharmacy before. I’m happy that the landlord took a chance on a startup pharmacy from scratch.”
He explained why it’s called Bravo Pharmacy. “I wanted to go against the perception of a typical pharmacy. I wanted a name that was dynamic. That said movement, applause.”
“People come to pharmacies because they have to go, [because] their doctor gave them a prescription to be filled. I wanted to change the way people think of us.”
He added, “It’s also an easy word to remember in a lot of languages.”
Having no pharmacy experience, Linkov sought out and found Kevin O’Brien, a highly-experienced registered pharmacist, to work with him.
O’Brien is assisted by pharmacy intern Liz Estrada, who is entering her third year at the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy in the fall. She is on her way to earning a pharmacy doctorate.
Estrada is working with O’Brien at the counter taking prescriptions, filling orders and going on home deliveries with Linkov.
Linkov considers himself as an entrepreneur with a mission.
“I love working with the underserved,” he said. “We want to help them. We offer free pickup and delivery. We remind people when their refillable prescriptions are due.”
He said O’Brien is very knowledgeable and talks with physicians and insurance companies on behalf of customers when misunderstandings arise. He said this is a great benefit particularly to seniors, who can be confused about medications.
But how does an independent pharmacy get customers in the door?
“By going door-to-door,” said Linkov, adding he visited the Boston Housing Authority senior building The Roundhouse and spoke with the property manager about the services Bravo could provide to residents. The manager agreed to let him knock on doors and introduce himself and Bravo Pharmacy.
Linkov said he’s also reached out to Urban Edge about meeting residents at Wardman and Walnut Washington apartments.
“We want to work with group homes, case managers and assisted living homes to let them know we’re available and are more service oriented than the big chains,” said Linkov. “It’s vital to know your customer base so they can call you with questions like ‘can I take this medicine with food?’ or ‘how long do I have to wait to take this?'”
“We want to fully utilize the value added to our business to help those in the most need. We practice old school era customer service,” said Linkov. “People will always need a pharmacy and I want this to be a landmark.”