Family-run pharmacy a New Haven staple for more than a century

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Visel Pharmacy has been serving its customers in New Haven since 1914.

The business was originally founded in 1914 by Christian and Edward Visel. In the 1940’s, Milton Moores took the pharmacy over before it ended up in the Funaro family in 1965.

Today, Edward Funaro Sr. and his son, Ed Funaro Jr., operate the business located at 714 Dixwell Avenue.

“As a kid, I worked as an entrepreneur,” explained Funaro Sr. “I used to deliver newspapers for the New Haven Register, then I came over to the bakery across the street…From there, over to Visels and here I started when I was 16 working behind the soda fountain. I just got interested in the pharmacy itself, went to pharmacy school, became a pharmacist, and here I wound up then [was] offered the business. I had to take it.”

Funaro Jr. credits a strong work ethic in playing a role in the pharmacy’s longevity.

“I started at the bottom shelf in the pharmacy and worked my way up so there’s nothing I haven’t done in the pharmacy,” he stated. “…We learned the work ethic at a young age and you ask why the store is still here. That’s part of it. Just dedication to the business [and] dedication to taking care of our customers.”

Keeping the business in the family, Funaro Jr. is now fully invested in his father’s pharmacy.

“Now, we have another generation. My dad is UConn School of Pharmacy 1962, I’m UConn School of Pharmacy 1983, and my son just graduated UConn School of Pharmacy 2017,” said Funaro Jr. “Will he end up in the family business? That’s entirely up to him. I will not talk him out of it.”

To the people at Visel Pharmacy, the community they serve is like family to them.

“Basically, the whole neighborhood is an extended family,” Funaro Jr. “We treat our customers as family, our staff is considered family…We look out for the people that come in and they look out for us.”

The Furnaro family hopes their pharmacy will continue to serve New Haven for many years to come.

“This is mom, pop and son. This is the reason why this business has been able to maintain for 104 years,” Funaro Jr.

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