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Marcellus: Your pharmacy, your way

Pharmacist Jamie Cataldi prides himself on his work.

During an average day he waits on customers, dutifully fills their prescriptions and makes a connection with the community. Having the community know he's there is part of what sets Cataldi apart from the large chain pharmacies.

"I get to practice pharmacy the way I want," he said. "It's rewarding to me."

Before Cataldi opened Main Street Pharmacy of Marcellus, there was a pharmacy in the same location. However, it closed abruptly and residents were then sent to other nearby locations for their medicines. Then in July 2002, Cataldi took the reigns, opened the pharmacy and began building his customer base again.

"The area demanded one," he said of the need for a local pharmacy. "I hope we're fulfilling a need."

Prior to his Marcellus gig, Cataldi worked for about six years as a pharmacist at Wegmans.

The large chains just weren't what he wanted for himself, though. Cataldi said when he was growing up in Lyons there was a small independent pharmacy there, as well as a similar outfit in the next town over.

"I surrounded myself with independent pharmacists," he said. "It's obviously a big step (to own my own store). It was always in the back of my mind."

As a rule, Cataldi keeps shorter wait times, he's open on Saturdays and he lives in the community. Someday soon, his children will begin school in the Marcellus Central School district.

"There is more incentive to take care of the people," Cataldi said. {Q}"I get to know them because I have more of a personal relationship with them."{Q}

When he and his family go out to dinner at Daniel's, Cataldi said he always sees some of his customers. But knowing the customers is only part of what makes the indie business good for the customers -- Cataldi can also save those who come to him a little cash by knowing their history.

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