When Leena Adhikari, OD, opened Crystal Vision Optometry in Rancho Cucamongo, California, about six years ago, one distinctive and eye-catching feature of the practice was the large crystal chandelier that hung in the small space. Earlier this year, Dr. Adhikari moved to a larger place, and while she brought the chandelier with her, it just didn’t fit into the design. She has brought in other touches of crystal instead.
With the move, the practice added space to accommodate the specialty contact lens patients, such as orthokeratology and scleral fittings, and take on a more modern look. “As I was acquiring new technology, we just ran out of space. We had some equipment in one room and some in another, and we were all moving back and forth between rooms,” she says. As her lease was expiring, it seemed like an ideal time to look for a new location. She found one, about twice the size, just four miles from her previous practice.
“I had been envisioning a larger practice for a number of years, so I had the idea in the back of my mind,” she says. “I wanted more of a minimalist look, not the large wooden shelves I had before, and I wanted everything in its place.” She worked with the architect, engineer, contractors and an optical designer to create a simple, attractive design. LED-lit, free-floating shelves display frames against the crisp grays and whites that comprise her color scheme. “For me to stay competitive with online opticals, I needed the space to be unique.”
The need for space was essential. She has expanded from one exam lane to three, one of which is being used as a consultation room for specialty contact lens fits for now. The extra room has allowed her to hire a part-time associate, who can become full time when the patient demand increases. “We couldn’t grow in the old space, not only in terms of not having a space to add equipment, but we weren’t able to see more patients. It was limiting.”
Do I smell cookies?
“Our vibe is to create an experience based on education and service,” she says. “Patients gasp when they come in, saying this new space is huge and beautiful.” They also often inhale deeply and look around, puzzled, as the smell of chocolate chip cookies fills the air. The toaster oven in the staff lounge is used to bake six cookies at a time. Cooking time is just three minutes, so it’s easy to keep them coming and offer fresh, hot cookies, along with coffee or water, to patients when they come in.
Her staff members, many of whom have been with her for several years, are also excited about the new space and the expanding services. “We try to set ourselves apart, and they’re pleased to be a part of that.”