Staples graduates celebrate five years offering optical alternatives

Glenn Bemus, Staples Class of ’78 and Arvid Brandstrom, Staples Class of ’61, had a vision: an alternative to the large eyeglass chain stores and pricey eyeglass boutiques. They teamed up to create Optical Alternatives.

Optical Alternatives is now celebrating its fifth anniversary, expanding its selection of eyewear fashion to represent nearly two dozen nations worldwide. In a reader’s poll, Optical Alternatives was voted Fairfield County’s “Best Place for Eyeglasses” from 2010-2014.

Optical Alternatives, located on Black Rock Turnpike, opened five years ago displaying 500 frames manufactured in five countries. Today its inventory of more than 2,000 frames comes from 23 countries including the U.S.A., comprised of over 100 high quality brands.

“We display unique collections which provide an alternative to the common frames offered at other eyeglass stores.” said Glenn Bemus, licensed optician and store manager. “Limited edition frames made with unique materials like laminated fabric, flowers, and peacock feathers are examples of the alternatives we offer to discerning customers. I continue to be impressed by state-of-the-art frames made with new types of materials some of which only weigh two and a half grams.”

Bi- and tri-colored frames in metal and plastic that give a distinctive, three-dimensional appearance are the newest trend, and the store has engaged with the latest fashions over the last five years to build its reputation and popularity. In addition to fashionable and affordable luxury frames, Optical Alternatives can outfit customers with practical options like custom-designed glasses for computer-users that help relieve fatigue, neck and eye strain.

“We scour the web for manufacturers of reasonably priced top quality frames from around the world. Unlike many other retailers, we can fit anyone, from a six-month-old infant to an NFL sized man, and our curated selection offers a unique shopping experience for any customer. We even feature a petite woman’s section” Bemus said.

The store offers affordable luxury in prescription eyewear and sunglasses as well as non-prescription sunglasses. That luxury also extends to lenses. Optical Alternatives fits frames with the newest lens technology to insure the customer’s vision is as sharp as their new eyewear. Frames are selected to enhance a customer’s face shape and style, and lenses are cut on premises to ensure absolute accuracy.

Bemus holds board-certified licenses for Ophthalmic Dispensing in New York and Connecticut. He has worked within the optical industry since 1982. His team also includes Licensed Optician, Dorothy Reynolds, President of the Connecticut Opticians Association.

“We always recommend eyewear styles that match ones’ personality whether it’s fashion-forward, playful, or conservative,” said Reynolds. “Our goal is for you to get compliments on your glasses and have crisp comfortable vision.”

Optical Alternatives where there is something for everyone, from classic conservative styles to fashion-forward frames. Optical Alternatives, 2480 Black Rock Turnpike Fairfield, Conn. 06825.

Information: 203-372-2010,

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