The United States Postal Service held the grand opening of the newest Village Post Office (VPO) at Baker’s Country Story in Stoney Fork.
Currently, the Stoney Fork Post Office is open only from 10 a.m. to noon.
Nick Walker, VPO coordinator for the Kentuckiana District of the U.S. Postal Service, said the VPO will help customers who can’t make it to the post office in the two-hour window.
“It’s a win-win for the customer, the store owner as well as the postal service,” said Walker.
Customers can buy stamps, mail letters and flat-rate packages at the VPO. They can access the VPO during business hours from 3:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Walker said foot traffic typically increases for businesses housing VPOs.
“I’m hoping it will increase the foot traffic in the store… and help get people in who don’t come to the store to come in and buy stamps and maybe grocery shop while they’re here,” said Jamie Baker, owner of Baker’s Country Store.
Baker said the VPO will allow customers to get stamps and mail items without having to go to Middlesboro or Pineville when the post office is closed.
Walker said the Stoney Fork Post Office will not close.
“We’re not closing Stoney Fork,” said Walker. “We’re expanding.”
The postal service unveiled the VPO concept in summer 2011 for consideration in communities where there is no existing post office or where the post office will have reduced hours.
Anthony Cloud may be contacted at 606-248-1010, ext. 1125 or on Twitter @AnthonyCloudMDN.