Boston, MA– Brothers Giuseppe “Peppi” Giangregorio and Fernando “Freddy” Giangregorio have owned and operated Green Cross Pharmacy on Hanover Street in the North End for 55 years. Now 82 and 80, respectively, the brothers have decided the time has come to retire and sell their store which has been a fixture in the North End for decades. They’ve been bought out by pharmacy chain CVS, which has a location on the south end of Hanover Street. As they began to feel their age, the Giangregorios decided the frustration of dealing with the insurance to run their shop was no longer worth it.
The Boston Globe tells the story of the Giangregorios’ history in Boston’s North End. The brothers immigrated to the U.S. from Italy with their mother when they young teenagers. Their father was killed in World War II. After working their way through pharmacy school at the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy, they bought the Green Cross Pharmacy building from the previous owner in 1964.
The Giangregorios built a reputation for unrivaled customer service. They have an incredibly loyal customer base among longtime residents of the North End. Many have shared stories about how the brothers went the extra mile for their customers, running a tab for people who were short on cash or delivering medicine to the home of a woman too sick to leave her bed. “Taking care of the older folks, the disabled especially. That was our mission,” Freddy said to the Boston Globe.
As the world modernized, the Green Street Pharmacy maintained a small-town feel. “We wanted people to come in and talk,” Peppi said. “Business is business. But life is life.” They were a cash-only establishment until five years ago when the brothers discovered that most of the young professionals in the neighborhood had flex medical spending accounts that required the use of a credit card. So Green Street Pharmacy adapted.
Peppi has been deeply involved in the preservation of his native language in the historically Italian neighborhood. As the brothers begin their retirement, the North End will be losing one of its ties to the unique heritage of the neighborhood. A big thanks to the Giangregorios for all the years of friendly service.
Photo by AlexiusHoratius [CC BY-SA 3.0]