04-12-2015, 09:29 AM
  • David
  • Senior Member
  • Toronto
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It finally happened.  I met the revered Leon Tarasenko, co-owner of Pasteur’s Pharmacy in New York City.

I was visiting the city last week, and #1 on my list was go to Pasteur’s.  Been reading about it for months, and the time had finally come to see, smell and experience all the shaving stuff they carry.  And, to chat with the man who not only has a ton of wisdom about shaving, but truly cares about all his customers, and really is a nice guy.

Now, full disclosure.  I paid full price for all my shaving purchases.  I didn’t receive anything for free.

OK, on with the story.  Leon owns Pasteur’s along with Steve Schimmel.  Steve is mostly the buyer, and works at both locations.  Leon works in the East 34th Street store, which I visited.  The other one is on Lexington Avenue, but I didn’t get a chance to see that one.  

Leon joined the pharmacy in 1982, and purchased it after the owner retired.  The original Pasteur’s opened in 1962.  They’ve been at 34th Street since 1986.

“I’ve worked in and hung out in drug stores since I was about six,” says Leon.  “I guess it’s in my DNA.”  What certainly is in his DNA is a sincere desire to help people.  He seems to spend most of his time on the floor hanging out in the shaving area—a jammed from floor-to-ceiling collection of some of the finest products you’ll find anywhere.  He spends the same amount of time (unlimited) with the guy buying a 5-pack of blades as the guy buying the Feather AS-D2.  I listened to him (you can’t help it—the shaving product area is really cramped) explain to an international customer how he personally would never spend more than $35 on a razor.  “I’m just too cheap to drop 200 bucks on a razor.  All the ones on this shelf work great, and they’re under 40 bucks.”

You get to test most of the products, although it requires a bit of a balancing act because there is just no space to sit anything down.  I improvised and set up a little step stool that was nearby.  Provided a nice shelf for my stuff.

Leon’s focus at the moment is to increase the number of artisan products he carries.  “They’re the hot items now, and for good reason—they’re great.”  He’s getting a wider selection of them each week, according to one regular customer I spoke with.  The young, well-dressed gentlemen comes in regularly on his way home from work to buy his blades, and made the observation.  He said he doesn’t buy blades by the hundred, because it’s more fun to buy 5-packs and come in often to chat with Leon.  Pasteur’s still carries the tried and true well-established names, but the shelves are now adding Phoenix, Tiki, Ginger’s Garden, Reef Point, B &M, and lots more.

Here are some pictures I snapped on my visit.  They show Leon, and many of the shaving products he carries.
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[Image: reJQ31v.jpg]

1 701
 04-12-2015, 09:34 AM
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I love it all. Thank you for sharing this post. I cannot wait to be able to walk into that place one day!

From my Tab through the Tap

1 1,975
 04-12-2015, 09:37 AM
  • eengler
  • Emeritus
  • South Dakota, USA
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Looks like a great experience, I could get myself into serious trouble with all those selections.

68 5,619
 04-12-2015, 09:58 AM
  • Johnny
  • Emeritus
  • Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
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Photos turned out real nice, David.

189 26,345
 04-12-2015, 10:16 AM
  • Agravic
  • Emeritus
  • Pennsylvania, USA
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Very nice.
I was there last week, and it's amazing how much they have in such a small space.

119 19,681
 04-12-2015, 10:29 AM
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Wow!!! My son lives in Brooklyn and works in Manhattan. Time to pay him a visit and take a trip to Pasteur's.

0 52
 04-12-2015, 10:34 AM
  • Aleksey
  • Enabler
  • Istanbul, Turkiye
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I definitely shouldn't visit there. It is too dangerous. Biggrin

Nice pics and glad you enjoyed your visit. Thanks for sharing. 

0 1,053
 04-12-2015, 10:55 AM
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How great to have access to such a facility. Thanks for reminding the rest of us we live in nowhere land. Great pics.

6 75
 04-12-2015, 10:59 AM
  • freddy
  • Banned
  • San Diego, California, U.S.A.
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Thanks for the tour, David.  This was great. Smile

2 5,000
 04-12-2015, 12:09 PM
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Thanks for sharing all the great photos!

11 220
 04-12-2015, 01:15 PM
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I love Pasteur's Pharmacy! It's a good thing for my wallet that it's a 2 hour drive from me though Blush 

80 2,429
 04-12-2015, 01:16 PM
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I live in Manhattan and I've been to both, but more often go to the one on Lexington because it's closer to home. 

In fact from 2008 to 2012 I used to live on 34th street, 2 avenues away from Pasteur's but that was well before my wetshaving days. 

For anyone coming from out of town I would suggest the 34th street store. They have more of pretty much every category. That's not to say that there isn't enough at the one on Lexington to leave a hole in your wallet, but I just think the variety and stock is much better at the one on 34th. As a simple example, the one on 34th has pretty much any blade you can think of. Whereas the one on Lexington may have a variety of less than 10 de blades. 

Anyhow, it's good but dangerous to know that they're trying to get artisan products in there. When I first started Wetshaving this last summer, I was going every few days. After a little while I was actually embarrassed to walk into the store and I'm sure the cashier lady thought I was crazy. 

3 62
 04-12-2015, 03:12 PM
  • Bony
  • Senior Member
  • New York , USA
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Yes Leon is real  gentleman .I had the chance to shop there and he was happy to help and offer me a free samples . Unfortunate for Megapolis like New York is to have only  Pasteurs with its two locations . And thanks to David Im going to 34th.str.  Monday to check all this new staff .

12 566
 04-12-2015, 03:19 PM
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OOooohhhh...   That's all I got: "OOooohhhh..."

0 1,208
 04-12-2015, 04:46 PM
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Wow I didn't know they had Tiki and RP, among others. Thought all they had was Razorock and B&M Black Label. Gonna have to check this place out!

16 1,028
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