Friday, February 5, 2010

Heart O'My Town: Dan Asti

Although it's not technically in Mt. Lebanon, Asti's South Hills Pharmacy sits on land that was under the jurisdiction of Mt. Lebanon as recently as the 1950s, when a large parcel along Mt. Lebanon Blvd. was sold to Castle Shannon.  Truth be told, pharmacist Dan Asti's storefront may as well be in Mt. Lebanon since he's known, and loved, by a large part of the community.

A neighborhood pharmacist in the classic mold, Dan knows his customers by name and always greets them warmly.  He is quick to make a call when a prescription needs to be renewed and if you're too ill to pick it up, well, he's happy to deliver for free, even on nights and weekends.  In an era of big-box anonymity, Dan's approach is a soothing antidote.

Dan's knowledge of, and relationships with, local physicians is yet another wonderful service he provides.  He is happy to provide a suitable physician referral and if a customer is having trouble connecting with the doctor, he'll make a personal introduction.  And then there's the "treasure chest," a box filled with miniature toys for girls and boys who've come in to pick up medicine.  Who needs a spoonful of sugar when a new gew-gaw helps the medicine go down?

Yes, indeed, Dan Asti is just what the doctor ordered.

17 comments:

  1. Elaine! You beat me to it!! Dan was going to be my Heart 'O My Town! He is the best. There's nothing like a good old-fashioned pharmacy where the pharmacist knows your name. I always feel like I'm in good hands when I go to Asti's. Thanks Dan!

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  2. Here's a post that I'm happy to get behind. Asti's is a model of a great local business. Dan truly puts his customers first.

    Mike Madison

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  3. I agree. We are also customers at Asti's. It is a friendly place and Dan genuinely cares about helping his customers.

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  4. So, we're customers of Asti's and have been since he opened. This afternoon, as we're all stuck in the house, the phone rings. It's Dan. Our next-door-neighbor has both age and infrastructure problems, and thus, there is no access to her house (we have checked on her, and she's doing OK otherwise). Dan's request: can his septagenerian delivery guy come to our garage door with her prescription so we can then have one of our teenagers deliver it to her across the bushes? The timing of your post couldn't have been any better. Any time theres an emergency, Dan goes the extra mile to help out! Oh, and he said he'd straighten out the money "later".--Neil Berch

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  5. Love Asti's. We switched to them several years ago when I walked in looking for something and received immediate personal assistance. So long Rite-Aid!

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  6. We at Mt. Lebanon Magazine so value Dan Asti, not only because of the personal service he provides some of us, but because he was smart and community-minded enough to tell In-Community Magazines that he was happy with his official community magazine, Mt. Lebanon Magazine. I was encouraged by my insurance company to go with a big company that would save us a co-pay. No way, I am staying with Dan because he exemplifies the sort of solid businessman we value in our community.

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  7. Susan - I was wondering if you would value Dan Asti and still use his services if he was not an advertiser in mtl magazine.

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  8. Joe, your comment strikes me as odd. Are you looking for a fight? Your comment seems rather provolking. We don't do that here at Reallebo.

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  9. Kristen -- I asked a fair question of Susan. She said she would stay with him "because he exemplifies the sort of solid businessman we value in our community." She also started her posting by mentioning that she appreciates him defending her magazine to a competitor. I just wondered if she would still patronize him if he no longer was an advertiser for her magazine.

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  10. Furthermore...if this is "something you don't do" here, why was the comment approved?

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  11. Joe, Elaine here -- I approved your original comment. I must admit, I didn't like the tone, either, but I gave you the benefit of the doubt. Seems there's no doubt that most people in town would patronize Dan Asti no matter what -- I've gotten more positive feedback from people on this post than on just about any other one.

    If there is some other tension between you and Susan, perhaps that is best handled off blogs and in person -- say, at a coffee shop? Face-to-face interaction can be a really good thing.

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  12. Hi Joe,

    Kristen here, your comment to me about "why was the comment approved" is another one of those comments (similar to the one you sent to Susan) that, to me, seems like you are just looking for an argument. I am not. I really try to channel my energy in more positive ways.
    Thanks for your understanding. Have a good day.

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  13. One last comment, and then I'm done. Just to give you an example, Joe...if I were really concerned about whether Susan would still patronize Dan without his magazine support, I would reply to her comment by first acknowledging it and then reaffirming that Dan deserves our patronage not only because he is a great businessman, but because he is a great guy. Were you really worried that Dan might not have her patronage otherwise, or were you simply trying to give Susan a hard time? It seems like the latter to me. As Elaine said, personal issues are best dealt with off-blog and in-person.

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  14. First -- I have heard nothing but great things about Dan and wish him the best of luck with his business. If I did not already have friends who run their own pharmacy business, I would definitely have come to him instead of one of the "big box" stores.

    I stand behind my question to Susan -- which has still gone unanswered. She is a Mt. Lebanon resident and had she commented as such, I would have never asked the question. She brought up her affiliation with the magazine and her appreciation for Dan's advertising in mtl magazine - and for declining In Community Magazine's request to advertise there.

    There is nothing personal regarding my question to Susan as a Mt. Lebanon official since she has commented on your blog as such. I do not need to have some kind of discussion with her in person at a coffee shop regarding it.

    The nature of a blog is for someone to write a posting and have people comment on it. Sometimes those comments are questions to other commenters -- such as the case is with my question.

    I guess the big question is -- why are you replying to my question instead of Susan?

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  15. Joe, it looks like you're a more frequent reader of Real Lebo than Susan. ;-) This post is two weeks old and most of the comments were received in the days after it was published. It seems to be that way with most posts.

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  16. I think that I can answer the question for Susan. My name is Dan Asti, and Susan has been a customer of mine for 5 years straight,even though I have advertised in her publication only about 50% of the time over that same 5 yr period. Susan and I have had a discussion on this topic as late as last week, and she remains a committed customer. I'm not a blogger by nature, but I can tell you all that I have been humbled by your positive feedback. I truly have been blessed by both a loyal and diverse customer base. And I would be remiss if I didn't extend the true stars of asti's pharmacy, my team at the
    store. The word "team" is so overused in society today, but at our store, it is
    the only word that fits. Thank you all, once again, for the kind words; I am a
    truly lucky and blessed man. Best of luck lady blue devils.
    Dan Asti

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  17. Thanks for chiming in, Dan! Consider this your official welcome to the blog!! We are all so lucky to have you as part of our community. You really do make a difference in so mnay people's lives!! THANK YOU!

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