Linder Opticians of Willow Grove going strong after more than a century

Linder Opticians opened for business in 1913 and is still going strong over a century later by emphasizing personal service. (Image courtesy of Rick Woelfel).

By Rick Woelfel

When Linder Opticians opened for business in 1913, America was a different place. Woodrow Wilson was the President of the United States. World War I was still a year off. And women couldn’t vote.

Over a century later, Linder is still going strong, by emphasizing the personal service that has been so vital to its success and is more necessary now than ever.

Marilyn Linder Zembower has been involved in the business her entire working life. Her grandfather Edward Linder founded Linder Opticians and passed it on to his son, also named Edward.

Today Marilyn manages the business, which has been at its present location on Easton Road in Willow Grove since 1962. “I worked under my father for 24 years before he retired,” she said. “I got most of my guidelines through him on how to deal with people; I’m a people person.”

That underlying people-first philosophy that has characterized the business since its inception has changed little with the
passage of time.

“We’re a very hands-on optical business,” Linder Zembower said. “We go by the same guidelines and rules we always have.” Linder Zembower and her staff pride themselves on their attention to detail. “We do what’s best for the customer,” she said. “They know that we’re here to help them. Not to sell them things they don’t need and aren’t necessary.”

That attention to detail extends beyond merely selling a customer a pair of glasses. If there is an issue or an adjustment that needs to be made it is taken care of with dispatch. The Linders team maintains close working relationships with area optometrists and ophthalmologists to help see to it get the quality eye care they’re looking for.

“We are not an optometrist and not an ophthalmologist,” Linder Zembower said. “But if somebody comes in and a red flag is raised, “we’re fortunate enough to be able to call the doctor or his office and say ‘I just want to be aware, is this the way it’s supposed to be? The doctors are very welcome to our calling.”

Many of Linder Zembower’s customers have been getting their glasses from Linder’s for decides. “We provide the quality of service people are looking for,” she said, “and are not getting in today’s society. We provide that and people come in here and they feel comfortable. They feel at home here because they know they know that we treat them like a person, like a family member. They’re not intimidated.

“They walk out and they say ‘Wow, this is the way customer service should be.’ Customer service is not available in a lot of places anymore.”

Click here for more information on Linder Optician.