If you've ever found yourself lugging a heavy package all over Brooklyn in pursuit of a post office, look no further than . The Prospect Heights newcomer opened up last October to give locals a place to serve their office needs. Owner Dean Desir, a born and raised Brooklynite, says the store gives locals a friendlier alternative to USPS.
"People are irate with the lack of customer service at the post office," said Desir, a former corporate salesman. Lincoln Postal carries the boxes, packing peanuts, and labels needed to ship a package, but they'll also do all the work. Customers can bring in the item they wish to ship and employees will take care of the rest.
But besides the obvious, Lincoln Postal offers a number of other office services such as faxing, self-service document shredding, and two computers that serve as a small internet cafe. They also offer a "virtual doorman':service for customers who aren't home to receive their packages. Desir says the store can receive everything from Fresh Direct orders to legal documents to dry cleaning deliveries and hold it until the recipient can come to pick it up.
Another service the store offers is mailboxes that have the street address of Lincoln Postal, rather than just a PO Box number. The service is popular with customers who are looking for a discrete address, a feature that has been used by abused women seeking a safe way to receive mail, as well as frequent movers who don't want to update their address everytime they relocate. Desir says customers often initially come in for the shipping, but return for the other services.
"It's like McDonald's fries. They advertise the burgers but everyone goes for the fries," said Desir.
Opening the business wasn't an easy process for Desir. He struggled to get funding during a recession and get locals excited about his new business.
"A lot of people were disappointed. They thought it was going to be a bar," said Desir.
And people still come into his business with greasy carburators looking for the mechanic that was once located there. But since he's been open, more and more customers have come in, and Desir says he's planning to expand into more home office and small business services to draw others in. For now, he's just happy to be working at the business he refers to as his "baby".
"It sure beats working in a cubicle," he said.