Black Rock Postal Unit makes return
After an abrupt closure about two months ago, the Black Rock Turnpike Postal Unit will return, this time at Katona Corner, 1881 Black Rock Turnpike.
Originally located at Sprouts for Better Living, 2179 Black Rock Turnpike, the contract postal unit (CPU) was forced to find a new home after financial difficulties resulted in Sprouts' closure.
According to Bob Levesque, the manager and owner of the Black Rock CPU, they had about five days notice before the store closed.
Now, after finding a site and putting in the winning bid, Levesque can offer former customers the same convenience, just up the street.
"I wanted to stay close to where we were before, so our customers could find us," Levesque said.
One of the benefits afforded by the CPU was the P.O. boxes. Typically, new CPUs are not allowed to have P.O. boxes, but Levesque's new location was allowed to move the boxes from the old location because of his track record and the huge demand for the boxes.
According to Levesque, it was important for his new place of business to offer the same amenities as the old one.
"It would've been a hardship if they had to go to one of the other post offices for the P.O. boxes. It would've taken a lot of time out of their day," he explained.
If Levesque was not allowed to have the P.O. boxes at his new CPU, they would've been brought to the post office on Commerce Drive.
"We immediately recognized that this was a hardship for our customers. We wanted to look for a replacement as quickly as possible. It served the Fairfield community in a great way and we wanted to get something in there as quickly as we could," she said.
"This was a very positive spot where we were previously and, just like the customers, we had virtually three days notice," Marion added.
In keeping with Levesque's plan to keep the CPU as close to the old location as possible, the Katona Corner CPU will offer greeting cards and packing supplies, just like the original at Sprouts.
The timing of the move has also been fortuitous. With the holidays fast approaching, mail traffic grows significantly.
"What a difference a month makes," Marion said. "This time next month would've been deadly."
The new Katona Corner CPU will make its debut tomorrow with a grand-opening ceremony from 11 a.m. to noon at its new location, at 1881 Black Rock Turnpike. The store's hours are Monday through Saturday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Marion expressed her excitement about the move, something many customers felt when they heard about its proximity to the old location.
"We loved it. We're so delighted to be able to expand our service, just in time. It just makes life a lot easier," Marion said.