WALLINGFORD — As an 11-year town resident, Sopheak Tang’s love for the town drove him to open his business, Peak Opticians, in the downtown area.
“It feels like a community here in Wallingford and that’s why I wanted to open right in town here,” Tang said.
Tang, 40, has been in the optical industry for about 15 years. He attended Middlesex Community College to become an ophthalmic dispensing optician through their two-year trade program.
After taking a practicum through the state, he became a licensed optician.
“This is my passion, this is what I love to do,” Tang said. “I love to style people and also help them be able to see clearly. It’s not just about the fashion side … It’s all about their personality, what they want, what they like and need, but more importantly, it’s also about vision. It’s about seeing your best, seeing clearly.”
Tang hand selects each frame that is sold at Peak Opticians, which also includes children’s eyewear. He specializes in more complicated prescriptions including astigmatisms, high myopia and double vision. The shop also has a finishing lab, which drastically reduces the time clients have to wait to get their glasses. Sometimes patients can even get their glasses the same day they order them.
“I will slowly start to learn what everybody wants and I’ll bring that in,” Tang said. “I usually look at shapes, colors. I look at the quality of the frame, adjustability, if it’s easy to adjust on the patient.”
Peak Opticians held its grand opening at its location at 174 Center St. on Saturday. Liz Davis, executive director of Wallingford Center Inc, said the organization is happy to have Tang’s new business in the downtown area.
“It’s a little bit of a different retail operation, so we’re excited and I think he’ll bring some more visibility downtown because of that,” Davis said.
Davis added that there used to be an eyeglasses shop in the downtown area called Wallingford Optical, but it closed a few years ago.
“I’m glad we have another opportunity with a different optical store, so it’s good and it’s a different vibe, so that’s nice,” Davis said. “We’re really thankful that he decided to come to downtown Wallingford.”
Tang looked around for a building for Peak Opticians for about three months. His building was the “perfect location,” he said.
“Because of the foot traffic, the visibility, the exposure that this provided for me,” Tang said. “In addition to the coffee shops, I lucked out. There are two coffee shops that just opened up and the foot traffic is just amazing.”
Since his business just had its grand opening a few days ago, Tang said “the word needs to get out.” He said so far, they have done some marketing campaigns and promotions and plan to do things in the community, such as participating in Celebrate Wallingford.
“I’d like to participate in things like (Celebrate Wallingford), but also maybe sponsor some softball teams, soccer teams, things of that nature,” Tang said.
“Just to be part of this community,” he added,emc “I like how there is so much support within the community for a lot of the small businesses and I also want to give back to the community.”