This year, the pandemic has also been devastating to small businesses.
One of the neighborhood’s oldest family-owned businesses is Traymore Chemists at 110-80 Queens Boulevard, which was owned by Kenneth Liebowitz for over four decades.
“Growing up, I never fully appreciated how hard my father worked to support our family, but one thing I knew is that he was very proud of his business,” said Kew Gardens Hills resident David Liebowitz, who began running the business after his father retired a few years ago.
Patrons enter a classic recessed storefront with an original wooden door, and encounter authentic wooden built-ins. On the wall behind a counter is a vintage torsion balance and a pharmacy class cup.
Traymore Chemists offers senior care specialty services and free delivery. Staff members relate to a diverse community by their ability to speak Spanish and Greek.
“My father took great pride in serving customers, but even more than that, he really made customers feel like family,” Liebowitz said. “When I say that, I am not exaggerating. He truly cared about people, and they loved him for it. Ask anyone who knew him, and they will tell you the same thing.
“When I began to run the business, I hired new pharmacists in the mold of my father,” he added, referring to Anna Antiaris and Kathy Legakis. “I can tell you 100 percent that they really are like my father. They have such pleasant personalities.”
Liebowitz said a small business offers several advantages over a large chain. He emphasized how crucial it is for the community to support small businesses during the pandemic.
“We are all suffering due to COVID-19,” Liebowitz said. “Society has become so emotionally distant, but people crave friendliness and warmth. Our goal is to make people feel good when walking into our pharmacy by knowing their name and treating them with dignity and respect.
“We have elderly customers that sometimes ask us to pick something up for them at the food store, so we do it for them,” he added. “My father used to call his customers friends and family, and that’s exactly what I want to continue.”