The Family, The Service, The Selection, The Expertise
People come back to our business. I mean that, once you come into Empire Optical, we will most likely sell glasses to you, your children, and your grandchildren. I say that because I am a third generation owner, and I am serving the grandkids of the people my grandfather originally helped. We love that about our business, and we hope you do also.
Empire Optical was started in 1964 by Gus and Naomi Caldwell. Gus had been an optician for a couple other companies before starting his own lab. Both Gus and Naomi had infectious personalities and were beloved in the Tulsa community. They treated people like family, and their family just kept growing. We owe the business to them.
Then, in 1978 Gus and Naomi called their daughter Mary Ann Hargrove (an artist at the time) and asked if she and her husband Charles (a collegiate economics professor) would like to buy the business. So, the Hargroves moved their family to Tulsa. They brought their different backgrounds and their two snot-nosed kids (Danny and Christian) with them. Mary Ann soon found out that her artistic background helped her sell glasses better than anyone in town. Charles found that he liked studying optics, and became the resident expert. Both Charles and Mary Ann have received awards and certifications for their work, including a Master’s Certification in Opthalmic Optics. Those who know them well understand their love of travel. There are pictures on our walls from Africa, the United Kingdom, Turkey, and Australia to name a few.
Charles and Mary Ann had their kids working in the business from about the age of thirteen (I don’t even know if that’s legal). Danny went on to do other things (with his wife Jennifer, and his two beautiful daughters Isabel and Anna). However, they just couldn’t get rid of Christian (that’s me)! So, I just learned how to do everything from cleaning the toilets, to fixing the air conditioner, to restructuring multi-tiered health benefits, to making the best eyeglasses in town. I am happy to serve. My family includes wife Brooke, and three sons Zachary, Gabriel, and Jonah. Sometimes, I force them to come in and learn the job as well.
With all the branches of the tree counted, we have actually had five generations of family working at Empire Optical. Many of the other opticians in town are extended family that got their start working for Empire Optical.
This is a hard one to just talk about. We have won awards for our service, but we can’t just toot our own horn. Talk to your friends. Come on in. You know great service when you experience it.
Here I would like to mention the tremendous staff we have been blessed with at Empire Optical. Without them, we wouldn’t be much of an Empire. I won’t mention them all by name, but our customers always know they will be greeted with a smile at the front register. The team of ladies on our sales floor are second to none. They are bright, creative, and have more combined experience than any optical shop you will ever visit. Our “middle room” staff always does a great job of handling the ordering, telephones, paperwork, and insurance so things run smoothly. In the lab, the crew has decades of experience rather than months. One employee in particular has been with the company over 40 years! Finally, there are our adjusters, which are the best in town. Many people get started at Empire Optical because we can make their eyeglasses fit (when others can’t).
I said that Mary Ann likes to travel, right? She also loves to shop. She has been careful to pick up some of the most interesting frames from around the world. Lots of them. Honestly, you can get lost in our selection without one of our friendly salespeople to help you. We have the latest in rimless designs, titanium frames, designer eyewear, readers, kids, plastics, metals, anything you want. I’ll finish the thought on frames by telling you we have thousands of frames on display, while others have hundreds. We are sure we can find the perfect frame for you.
Eyeglass lenses are another important component of our selection. We are always looking for the latest and best lens technologies as well. We stock lenses from almost all major manufacturers including Essilor, Varilux, Zeiss, Pentax, and Kodak. We sell special materials and treatments like Crizal, Transitions, and polarized lenses in your prescription. Just ask us, we can get you just about anything...
If you have ever been to a discount optical store, what was your biggest complaint? You most likely knew you were going to get a “cheap” pair of eyeglasses, but they probably also didn’t seem to know very much about optical problems and adjustments. We consider ourselves the experts. Were are certified opticians, and have the wealth of decades of experience. We have seen almost every eyeglass problem there is. We will be glad to assist you with any problems with your eyeglasses from issues of sight and physics, to issues of fit and comfort. We will also try to help you with choosing the best products to begin with.
We understand that sometimes you want to save a buck by going to a discount store, but what price will you put on your vision while you are driving down the highway at 65 mph? What price will you put on being able to see clearly and comfortably every day at your job? What price will you pay to know your children’s eyes are properly protected? We are experts because we care to be. Come see why...