JACKSON HEIGHTS — A beloved mom-and-pop pharmacy that has been in the neighborhood for more than 30 years was forced to shut its doors because of high rent and a drop in profits, the owner said.
Maram Pharmacy & Surgicals has been owned by the Kranjac family since 1982, and was seen by locals as a fixture on 37th Avenue.
Owner and pharmacist John Kranjac officially closed the location on Monday, transferring patient files to the Rite Aid six blocks away.
His rent, he said, was high — but it wasn’t the main reason he had to break the lease for the storefront, which has been a pharmacy since the 1930s.
“Rent goes up little by little, it's not the main reason,” he said.
He’d seen a drop in profits over the last few years, and made the decision to close over the last few months.
Kranjac, who took over running the pharmacy in 1989, said he was overwhelmed by the response from his Jackson Heights customers, some who came to him in tears to wish him well and express their gratitude.
“It's very sad, very difficult to deal with, especially with the response we've gotten from patients,” he said.
Kranjac said he hopes his former customers will bring their loyalty to Rite Aid, where his wife will work as a pharmacist.
“There's a lot of people we retained for many years that have stayed with us,” he said. “We've taken great care of them. We did a good job, they appreciate it.”
He said the landlord isn’t sure what is going in next at the large, corner store. The landlord did not immediately return calls for comment.