From the mother and daughters ownership team to the atmosphere, it is all about family at Bay Shore’s new optometrist and optical store.
Debbie DiNunzio opened Southside Family Vision with her children, Jennifer Pihlkar and Lisa Cellura, on a prominent corner in the downtown at 2 West Main Street last winter. Their goal was to work together while bringing an enjoyable, neighborhood-feel to a monotonous task: going to the eye doctor.
“We want to do something that would give family value, make it affordable for people, all while offering a comfortable environment,” said DiNunzio, who is a mother of six children.
DiNunzio has worked in the industry for over 40 years, owning eye supply stores, and managing other optical businesses. During that time, her daughters would help her at work.
“After school, they would come over to the store,” DiNunizo, of Commack, recalls. “I remember at 8 years old them trying to sell glasses to people; they were naturals.”
Now, together, for the first time, the three are business partners.
“It is nice to be able to all work together and this place be ours,” said Pihlkar.”We run it the way we want to.”
And they do so by creating a family-friendly experience.
“We offer coffee, cookies, and we have a kiddie corner for children,” said DiNunzio.
Southside Family Vision is open Monday through Saturday every week and opens one Sunday a month to cater to busy families.
The three points out it is more than a family just selling glasses.
“We have all the latest technology for medical testings, screenings, fits for contact lenses, retinal photography, and more,” said Cellura.
That care comes from their optometrist Marissa Koopman, an alumnus from New England College of Optometry, who joined the staff earlier this year.
“I love interacting with different individuals and listening to their needs,” said Koopman. “I strive to create a comfortable environment for my patients so they can receive the best care.”
Since opening in Bay Shore, the family has been overwhelmed by the community’s response.
“Everyone is very helpful, very supportive each other’s business here,” the three said. “We love the people of Bay Shore.”