Julie Chulyakova and Gary Valevich of the new pharmacy Park Chemists, which opened over the weekend on 5th Avenue in the former Odd Twin space, say they wouldn’t have gotten to where they are without the hard work of their parents — Gary’s parents moved here from the Ukraine before he was born to raise a family in Brooklyn, and Julie came here with her family from the former Soviet Union when she was 3 years old.
“Because of their perseverance and strength, we are able to stand here today with Doctorate of Pharmacy degrees, own a pharmacy called Park Chemists nestled in a neighborhood we both love, and have the opportunity to make a difference by using our knowledge to help people achieve a healthier life,” Julie says.
Before this new business, Gary had a successful, long run in a pharmacy where he “was able to make life changing interventions in the elderly population’s drug regimens,” Julie explains. Even so, he was ready for a bigger journey. And again thanks to his family — in this case his mother, who he went into partnership with — he was able to create Park Chemists.
“What started out as brainstorming, ideas jotted down on paper, and mere blueprints,” Julie says, “turned into a space filled with warmth, traditional apothecary accenting, and a home-like atmosphere.”
Though you may sometimes take its importance for granted, a good and knowledgeable pharmacist is an important part of healthcare, and that’s something the team at Park Chemists takes very seriously.
“Whether it is small intervention, like finding the right diaper rash cream for a baby’s sensitive skin, or saving someone’s life by detecting a dangerous interaction in someone’s drug regimen, we have the unique opportunity to counsel and consult in a warm, comfortable, community setting as opposed to the cold white walls of a doctor’s office or clinic,” Julie says. “This is the place to motivate, encourage, and guide people in the right direction to attain better health. The rewarding feeling of helping someone in some small or big way is what makes it all worthwhile at the end of the day.”
She explains they’re focusing on personalized attention and therapeutic healing, with a goal to provide highly individualized and professional care to their customers and community.
“We strive to keep an apothecary-inspired tradition alive in today’s modern, crazed society,” she says. “Our rustic-style pharmacy will be your neighborhood medicine cabinet, where gift shop meets pharmacy.”
In stocking the space, they looked for a wide selection of natural, organic, and homeopathic baby, bath, and body products, organic treats and supplies for pets, plus some unique gifts.
“We have carefully scoured for the best and most effective products,” Julie says. “Our shelves will display all of these special, hard-to-find items, from the beautiful to the unusual.”
They currently live in Sheepshead Bay, but opened the space here in Park Slope in part because they’d love to move here soon.
“Every time we walk the streets of this bustling neighborhood we are overcome with genuine happiness,” she says. “The growing family population, earth-friendly intentions, organic and health-conscious surroundings, and of course the love and support for dogs and animals, are just some of the few reasons why Park Slope is important to us.”
Even though they both grew up in the southern part of Brooklyn, they say Park Slope feels like home to them.
“We couldn’t let that feeling go, we knew there was something special about this neighborhood,” Julie says. “We wanted to be a part of this community, and opening up a pharmacy seemed like the perfect gateway to that transition.
“It is an absolute pleasure to join this community,” she adds. “We are very grateful to be welcomed with open arms. We are here to serve you seven days a week with any questions or needs that you may have.”
Park Chemists is located at 164 5th Avenue, on the corner of Degraw, 718-393-5555. Hours are Monday-Friday 9am-9pm, Saturday 10am-7pm, and Sunday 11am-7pm.
Photos via Park Chemists