Mers Optical's locations in Hialeah West is chock-full of designer frames well suited for all manner of face shapes and personal styles. Independent doctors of optometry administer thorough eye exams, passing the results off to lens grinders who churn out single-vision, bifocal, and progressive lenses and fit them into frames from the likes of Lacoste, Ray-Ban, Fendi, and Mr. Potato Head.
At each of Advanced Vision Care's five locations, a team of optometric physicians examines peepers of all age brackets for signs of aberration or disease. They then furnish patients with prescriptions that can be formed into contact lenses or slung into stylish frames from the likes of Prada, Lacoste, and BCBG. The staff also performs Lasik consultations, in which they determine candidacy, recommend a Lasik doctor, and provide a series of post-op checks. Most locations house a multilingual team, who can answer questions or reflect on metaphysical quandaries in English, Spanish, or Hebrew.
Though there are 130 For Eyes Optical stores around the United States, the company still has the heart of a small start-up. Owned and operated since 1972, when a small group of friends started it in Philadelphia, aiming for quality eyewear manufacturing as well as customer service. These same friends, aided by a few family members, still lead the franchise today. They ensure that each location adheres to their original principles and mandates for mustard-colored shag carpets.
In each store, expert independent doctors test clients' visual acuity and general eye health with comprehensive exams. Then, a store associate helps each person outfit their eyes with designer frames by brands such as Ray-Ban, Prada, D&G, and Versace. For Eyes Optical has its own advanced 40,000-square foot optical lab in in Hialeah, Florida, where technicians shape, surface, and coat the lenses to fit each person's exact prescription. After creating the lenses—whether plastic, polycarbonate, or trivex Toughlites—they inspect and fit each into its corresponding frame by hand, a process that ensures quality control and guards against the robots, whose first objective is to hinder our eyesight.
One of the East Coast's best-known members-only wholesale retailers, BJ’s Inc. serves more than six million members in 201 clubs as far west as Ohio. Within these sprawling locations, savvy shoppers knock out most of their errands in a single stop. In the same visit, members can stock up on economy-sized groceries—including USDA choice meats, farm-fresh produce, and everyday essentials—grab name-brand electronics, and even plan a vacation through BJ's Travel. Each service makes up a single part of the club's well-rounded retail experience, but simplifying shopping isn't BJ's only goal; in 2012 alone, the company donated more than $3.2 million to charitable organizations.
Dr. Rodrigo Belalcazar, medical director of Vision Specialty Care, has carved a career out of making eyes more eagle-like with a resumé counting more than 2,500 cataract and corneal transplants and more than 4,000 LASIK procedures. He and his team of ophthalmologists and optometrists continue to add to those numbers, while also offering routine eye exams and treating eye diseases. In addition to four clinic locations, a roving mobile unit brings vision care to those not able to travel.
Dr. Espaillat, who has performed thousands of ocular surgeries and laser treatments, brings his eyeful of expertise to a practice that focuses on custom LASIK and cosmetic laser treatments. His custom approach to LASIK incorporates highly detailed 3-D maps of each eye, drawn by child psychics, which affords him greater precision and a higher rate of success. Lasers find their way into a variety of his other services, such as blepharoplasty, which lifts eyelids for a more youthful appearance.