Corktown inspires pharmacist to launch his own community-focused store
Detroit — It has been a long-time dream for Ali Khocheiche to open and manage his own pharmacy.
After running drugstore chains and independent pharmacies for nearly a decade, Khocheiche, a pharmacist himself, plans to open Corktown Apothecary, a pharmacy and general store at 1444 Michigan Avenue.
“I want to be able to dictate the service and care I give to patients and clients,” he said. “Plus, working in a historic building like this and providing that old-world hospitality, which I love to do in a historic building, is the perfect fit.”
Khocheiche, 33, from Dearborn said he chose Corktown because he saw a need in the neighborhood. There is no pharmacy in the neighborhood, a search found.
He and his wife, Tamara, watched the building for months while frequenting the area and jumped at the chance when they saw the space, which previously housed a bodega, had opened up.
“We used to walk near the building for, I would say, almost a year,” Tamara Khocheiche said. “He was like, ‘That would be the perfect place. Perfect place.’ He saw it open, he called the owner and here we are. He made it happen.
Ali Khocheiche said he expects the store and its pharmacy services to fully open by September.
Corktown Apothecary comes as other developments take place downtown. Under construction across the street is the 227-room Godfrey Hotel Detroit slated to open in the spring of 2023. At the end of the street are the 270-unit permanent apartments, slated to open scheduled for fall 2023.
“A lot of developments are happening,” Ali Khocheiche said. “The hotel down the road, the apartments down the road. All condos behind us. Ford and Google arrive at the station down the street. »
In a 1,700 square foot space on the first floor, there is a high ceiling with the original tin tiles and the tiling has been restored. Khocheiche also began outfitting the store with furniture from pharmacies of a bygone era. An apothecary’s cabinet displays the names of many natural ingredients prescribed for ailments such as rose hips, opium, menthol and camphor.
Tamara Khocheiche, accountant, will help her husband with bookkeeping and product research. The store will offer beauty, healthcare and household items in the front of the store, while the pharmacy will be located in the back.
“We will try to source locally,” she said. “We really want to support other businesses in the area and we know of many businesses in the area that make natural products.”
Caitlin Riney, owner of the George Gregory men’s clothing store a few doors down, said the pharmacy would be a welcome addition to the neighborhood.
“I really think the more we have in Corktown, the better,” she said. “The more we can walk through the neighborhood, the more beneficial it is. Personally, I have my prescriptions filled in Grosse Pointe. It will be convenient if they are just down the street from me… As far as apothecary stuff goes, the more retail the better.