Cardinals' vision is taking shape
Dr. Paul and Tracy Cardinal wanted change.
Three years ago, after selling their Pearle Vision in Maple Grove, Minn., – which they said was No. 1 in the country for sales at the time – the Cardinals moved to Red Wing.
Paul Cardinal said he and his wife were looking for a slower-paced business lifestyle. Along with owning the Maple Grove Pearle Vision, Paul Cardinal and a business partner owned a location in Elk River and the one in Red Wing.
The three stores had close to 50 employees combined and Tracy Cardinal said the work left little time to do what she enjoys, like getting involved in the community.
Tracy Cardinal said community involvement was one of the attractions which drew her to Red Wing.
“We’re happy to be in the community, we like living here,” Paul Cardinal said.
He said they try to model their business after the advice of Dr. Stanley Pearle, the founder of Pearle Vision: Take care of the people. Taking care of the employees and customers is always the first concern, Paul Cardinal said.
Tracy Cardinal said she wants their business to have the feel of a private doctor’s office but provide affordability at the same time.
One major component of providing the personal service they strive for is doing all the work, such as cutting lenses, fitting frames and giving eye exams at their location.
The turn-around time is faster and it is much easier to control the quality when everything is done in house, Paul Cardinal said.
Knowing each customer and being able to provide what each individual needs is an important part of what they do, Tracy Cardinal said, adding she doesn’t want her customers to be just another number in a lab.
“We take pride in what we do and want to do,” she said. “That’s what we strive for and it is very rewarding.”
The Cardinals also have taken trips overseas to help people who have never had access to corrective leneses get their eyes checked and provide them with glasses.
Paul Cardinal said seeing someone react to being able to see clearly for the first time is quite the experience.
“It’s really life changing,” he said.
Last year the Cardinals were awarded the Stanley Pearle Award, which is given to one of close to 500 Pearle Vision locations across the country.
Thoughts on the award
Dr. Paul and Tracy Cardinal said they were surprised and happy to be named Service Business of the Year at the Red Wing Area Chamber of Commerce’s annual meeting and awards night.
“We’re really excited to win the chamber award,” Paul Cardinal said.
The store closed early and all the employees were at the event, Tracy Cardinal said, adding it was nice to have the employees there.
“We’re proud of everybody that we have on staff,” Paul Cardinal said.