New optical store clearing things up in Milford

Eyeconic Optical owners Anthony Roulston, left, and Brian Pietruszewski in their new optical store on U.S. 113 in Milford. (Special to the Delaware State News/Ariane Mueller)

MILFORD — To help people see better, a customer service-driven duo has opened a new independent optical store in Milford.

“Bringing a fresh face to the community was something we wanted to do down here,” said Anthony Roulston, who opened Eyeconic Optical with his business partner, Brian Pietruszewski, on Aug. 29.

“Our tagline is, ‘Your Vision, Our Passion,’ and we believe that,” Mr. Pietruszewski said. “We believe in making sure people don’t just come and buy glasses. We want them to leave knowing not only that they’ve been taken care of from a service level, but that they’re cared for.”

Eyeconic Optical owner Brian Pietruszewski, left, takes measurements for new eyeglasses for customer Julia Ferguson, while Eyeconic Optical owner Anthony Roulston, middle, records the data. (Special to the Delaware State News/Ariane Mueller)

This community-focused attitude is what sets Eyeconic apart from other optical stores, he said.

“We approach it from a very personal standpoint,” Mr. Pietruszewski said. “We are a business, but we’re part of a bigger picture. We’re very much about Milford and the surrounding towns.”

He said his store also has a unique, well-stocked inventory.

“We carry brands and styles that are unlike anybody else in the area,” Mr. Pietruszewski said. “We have the fortune of having very current, very high-profile vendors. It’s just a bigger assortment of brands and offerings.”

Eyeconic Optical the new optical store on U.S. 113. (Special to the Delaware State News/Ariane Mueller)

Mr. Pietruszewski said he and Mr. Roulston picked their current location on the corner of North Front Street and U.S. 113 in part because the area sees heavy traffic. Mr. Roulston estimated that between 28,000 and 29,000 cars pass by each day.

They were also attracted to the spot because of the other businesses nearby.

“The co-tenancy here is just absolutely amazing,” Mr. Pietruszewski said. “We’re next to Starbucks, we’re next to AT&T. There’s a Chick-fil-A in our parking lot. There’s an Applebee’s here.”

Mr. Roulston said the location also provides some beach traffic.

“During the month we were open, we got some beachgoers who stopped in to get glasses, but we’re still kind of determining what other traffic comes in from outside the community, because we’re still reaching out to people from outside the Milford area,” he said.

“Beach adjacency doesn’t hurt anything for sure, because (U.S.) 113 is obviously a main line to Rehoboth and to Ocean City,” Mr. Pietruszewski said, “but we’ve really not seen as much of the beach traffic as we have our faithful partners in the area.”

He said that Milford locals and others from places like Frederica, Ellendale and Dover make up the core of the store’s clientele.

“Our friends and family in the area have really been the lifeblood,” Mr. Pietruszewski said.

The duo said that opening in the midst of a pandemic has been challenging, but they’ve been able to make it work.

“There are precautions that are put in place to make sure we’re not spreading coronavirus and we’re keeping our patients healthy,” Mr. Pietruszewski said. “The other part of opening during a pandemic is that people aren’t as apt to come out.”

But traffic has not been low at the store.

It’s “probably the same or more than what we anticipated,” in terms of customers coming in and transactions, Mr. Roulston said.

“We’re still doing well here in our first month,” Mr. Pietruszewski added.

Currently, Mr. Roulston and Mr. Pietruszewski are the only people staffing the store, but they’re hoping to bring on a doctor who will be able to provide prescriptions soon.

“It’s not that it’s difficult to find a doctor … but we want the best,” Mr. Pietruszewski said. “We’re looking and really being fickle about how we select a doctor and how that looks for the long-term care of the patient.”

Meantime, customers looking for new glasses or contacts can bring their prescriptions from elsewhere to Eyeconic. For more information, call the store at 503-7421.