Eye care with a community connection

MARSHALL — Since its doors opened at the beginning of the month, business has been picking up at Advanced Eyecare, said Dr. Alyssa Snyder. A growing number of people have come by the new office on East College Drive.

“We love this location. It’s nice that we have College Drive right here,” Snyder said. It makes the new office easy to find, and with Southwest Minnesota State University nearby, Snyder said she’s also had some college students come to her for eye care.

Advanced Eyecare is a new locally-owned eye care blusiness, with Dr. Alyssa Snyder serving as both optometrist and owner. The office is located in newly-renovated building space in the former location of the Marshall municipal liquor store.

Snyder said she plans to offer quality eye care, and to work to support the Marshall area community.

Snyder grew up in Coon Creek Township, near Russell, and has also practiced optometry in Marshall. She said opening Advanced Eyecare was a chance to go into business, while also staying close to the community.

“I had always wanted to be a business owner,” Snyder said, and she and her husband Andrew worked to form Advanced Eyecare. “It was an easy decision to stay in Marshall,” she said, both because of her connections to the area and because she could work close to home.

Snyder isn’t going at things alone in the new business, however. She’s working together with optician Adri DeBoer. DeBoer said Advanced Eyecare was a good fit for her.

“It was meant to be,” DeBoer said. She was interested in being part of a small business, as well in working in a sales role.

As optician, she will be working with clients to help pick out eyeglass frames they feel good in.

Snyder said DeBoer’s passion for style is a plus for that job.

Working with Brad Meulebroeck, the owner of the building Advanced Eyecare moved into, has also been a big positive, Snyder said. Meulebroeck has expanded and renovated the former liquor store into business space.

“He’s been very involved” in making Advanced Eyecare possible, Snyder said.

Snyder said she wants Advanced Eyecare to be friendly for patients. That’s had an effect on everything from the design of the office, to family and kid-friendly features, and an area where patients can try on contact lenses.

One positive part of living in Marshall, Snyder said, is that it will allow her to be available for after-hours care, if patients need it.

Snyder said her goal is to offer her patients high quality eye care. To help meet that goal, she said, “One of the things we’ve invested in is technology.” For example, Snyder said, Advanced Eyecare will use an iWellness scanner, a machine that can make images of patients’ retinas.

The scanner helps give Snyder a different view of the retina — a cross-section, instead of a top-down view. She said being able to look at patients’ retinas from more than one angle helps make it easier to spot potential problems, like signs of macular degeneration.

In addition to providing quality care, Snyder said, “We want to be involved in the community and give back.”

If a customer buys two complete pairs of eyeglasses, Advanced Eyecare will donate glasses to a person in need, she said.