Pharmacist Christina Procaccianti and her husband, Ken, met on a subway train in Boston and he proposed on the Green Line. Now, they’ve opened an independent pharmacy and soda fountain that honors that history, Green Line Apothecary in downtown Wakefield.

Procaccianti wanted to be a pharmacist since her childhood, when she assisted her father in his job as a greeting card salesman, and they would visit drugstores to restock the shelves.“I had the good fortune of working at different places in pharmacy. I worked for big chains; I worked for big hospitals; most recently, I spent the last seven years at another independent [pharmacy] in Mystic, Connecticut, and really enjoyed my time there. I woke up one day and said ‘I want to do this myself.’”

Green Line Apothecary is not all about filling prescriptions and selling medical products. The authentic soda fountain, which dates back to the 1940s, is the focal point of the light, airy space.

The Procacciantis stress authenticity: the sodas are mixed the traditional way — a few pumps of syrup, topped with carbonated water and ice to finish it off. Egg creams are available in chocolate, vanilla and coffee flavors and are made with fizzy water, syrup and milk. Many New Yorkers have come through and given their seal of approval on the egg cream, Procaccianti says. “We had a clear vision of what to serve at the soda fountain and what we wanted the experience to be. We felt very strongly about the ingredients; that was kind of the place we started. We wanted the ice cream to be organic and we wanted the soda to be all natural. The roots of soda fountains [were] these pharmacists creating these potions to help the taste of medicines go down when things were compounded.”

The walls are stocked with products Procaccianti says she would use at home or recommend to friends. She subscribes to the “less medicine is good medicine” approach; if she can offer a holistic remedy or a way to reduce the medicine, she will suggest it.

Procaccianti says Green Line Apothecary offers a personalized experience, and takes a pharmacy back to its roots. “I want to take the time to get to know my customers. They’re not customers, they’re patients,” she says. “I try to make it a more personalized experience. Dare I say, add some whimsy to it, too — if you’re going to wait a couple of minutes for your prescription, why not wait and have a root beer float? [My goal is to] take what is otherwise not a pleasant thing and make it more enjoyable.”

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