Craig Smith

Craig Smith is the executive director of the Downtown Napa Association.

J.L. Sousa/Register

Want to research an eye doctor before making your next appointment? Check out Dr. Craig Sultan on Yelp, and you’ll find more than 100 comments, mostly from locals but with a visitor or two thrown in, all singing his praises.

Sultan and his wife Sandra Call-Sultan own Eye Works at 1328 Pearl St. and for them, quality and service are everything. Sultan shrugs before saying, “Nobody cares like we do. It’s who we are.”

Sultan, who is quick with a joke, moved to the Bay Area from New York after finishing optometry school. “I took a wrong turn on the New Jersey turnpike,” he said, barely containing a grin.

In truth, he’d had it with cold weather, and went to work for a vision group in Silicon Valley. He and Sandra met on a ski trip in Yosemite.

“She was the only one at the dinner table who didn’t laugh at my jokes,” he said. “I knew she was the one for me.”

When their son Jake was born, the Sultans looked for the best community in which to raise children, and recognized Napa as being that place. They moved here in 1998.

The Eye Works originally opened at the corner of First and Main streets in 2007.

“It’s the second practice I opened the year before a recession hit. Economists now watch my every move,” deadpanned Sultan.

When that building was sold, Sultan had to move and relocated the business to Pearl Street in 2012. It’s been a hit there since.

“We got a big boost from locals when we moved. That support continues to grow, for which we are thankful.” The Sultans are staying at that location– they just signed another five-year lease.

Sultan only turns serious when he is talking about eyes and people’s health.

“If people cherish their vision and want a doctor with whom they are comfortable communicating, I’m their man.”

If he diagnoses astigmatism, for example, Sultan will explain it verbally, use charts to show it visually, and might even email an easy-to-follow video to the patient, so that she can watch it at home in a relaxed environment.

Sultan may also talk diet, nutrition, and other factors that aid good health. This thoroughness doesn’t detract from Sultan’s commitment to a relaxed environment.

“We’re warm and fuzzy here, almost Disney-like.” If a patient is trying on glasses and needs a second opinion, the whole staff and even other patients may chime in.

Eye Works offers a full line of glasses, from designer and fashion eyewear to more affordable lines, as well as sunglasses and contact lenses.

They are open Saturdays, and are always available to treat accidents, allergies and anything else affecting your eyes. Sultan speaks almost as a proud parent of the staff.

“To a person, they are incredibly gifted. There is no drop-off in skill set.”

See you downtown!

Craig Smith is the executive director of the Downtown Napa Association. Reach him at 257-0322 or craig@donapa.com.

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