A Pharmacists’ Roots...Celebrating 40 Years of Pharmacy Practice
April 28, 2021
As I complete my 40th year of Pharmacy Practice and my 14th year of business at Murray Avenue Apothecary, I am looking back at my pharmacy journey and living in Greenfield for the past 26 years.
I have Pharmacy in my blood. I grew up in my Dad’s pharmacy. I took my first steps there and started working there when I was only 10 and standing on a milk crate at the candy counter!
His Pharmacy was part of the classic line up of small family operated businesses-Independent pharmacy, hardware store, beauty parlor, ice cream shop, and coin operated laundromat. Greenfield, Squirrel Hill, and Hazelwood are made up of many family- operated and owned businesses too.
I graduated from the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy in 1981.
I met my husband of 40 years, Barry Merenstein (co-owner of 20/20 Opticians with his brother Evan) in my freshman year.
Our kids and their spouses live in Greenfield and Wilkinsburg, and work in the city-our son Hersh works for the Mayor and he and his wife Hillary are proud dog parents. Our daughter Shannon owns Hatch and The Creativity Project and her husband Cole works at Intertek. We have two incredible grandkids ages 6 and 3! We are so blessed!
Before opening Murray Avenue Apothecary, I had always worked at independent pharmacies. I felt a kinship and learned so much about “real life” pharmacy and people. I do not believe in the one-size-fits-all philosophy-we are all individuals.
My last independent pharmacy job was at Community Drug where I was working on the prescription counter until the day our compounding Pharmacist quit and my boss asked me to work in the compounding lab in the basement. The ceilings were low even for a short girl like me!
Seven years later in May 2007, armed with compounding knowledge (Bioidentical Hormones, Dermatology, Vet, and Hair Loss compounds, and many novel formulas I developed myself); and having a thriving consultation practice where I counseled hundreds of people in Nutrition and Hormone Balancing, I bought the Community Drug Compounding lab and opened Murray Avenue Apothecary right on Murray Avenue across from the Greenfield Giant Eagle.
Owning a business in Greenfield means so much more than anyone could imagine. The neighborhood is filled with friendly people who know you by name. A friendly greeting means the world to me. It’s a wonderful place to live and work! A very friendly neighborhood, in a big city, with a small-town feel.
I consider MAA a Patient-Centered Practice and a neighborhood place for people to learn about health, have custom compounds made for them, and buy Pharmacist-picked supplements like high-quality CBD and much more!
When Covid hit I sadly closed my pharmacy lobby to the public in March 2020, and had to completely change my business model to mail order and curbside pickup. I miss everyone!
Our loyal clients changed with us, and their support and trust build my spirit daily during a horrible time in our nation’s history and I am forever grateful to them.
We spiffed up our websites www.MAApgh.com, www.LabNaturalsCBD.com, www.LabNaturalsSkincare.com, and the NEW www.GlutathionePharmacist.com so that everything you used to see in the store is available online.
My Dad’s picture sits on the shelf opposite my desk and I can hear him....” Are you taking care of your clients and employees? Are you treating everyone fairly? Does your job bring you joy?”
The answer to all of the above is YES! I love coming to work daily and my staff is awesome and helpful, but what do I love about Murray Avenue Apothecary and LabNaturals the most? OUR CLIENTS!
Thank you for your love and support.
I have so much to be grateful for,
Susan Merenstein, Pharmacist/Owner
Murray Avenue Apothecary