Pamela Payne and Ben Turner opened the first Mailbox Plus 2 store in Jacksonville at 12220 Atlantic Blvd., Suite 130, southeast of Kernan and Atlantic Boulevard.
Payne, the owner and president, said COVID-19 was a reality check for her and her husband, longtime business owner in Northeast Florida and community leader Willard Payne Jr.
She wanted a business that would stay profitable during a pandemic with a service that people needed.
He introduced himself, over time.
She mailed a Christmas card to her niece in Houston in December which was delivered in April.
“That’s when I said, ‘OK, maybe I can open a mailbox,'” she said.
She said a letterbox store typically sells packing and shipping services and rents letterboxes to people to receive business or personal mail and parcels.
“I also thought of law enforcement officers, judges and others who would prefer their addresses not to be listed,” she said.
Through research, she said she found mailbox and business center developers, who don’t charge franchise fees and allow her to sell whatever she wants.
She said that Mailbox Plus 2 offers services such as letterbox rental, notary services, shipping, copying, faxing, shredding, laminating, binding, gift wrapping, balloons. , passport photos, and virtual and digital mail services.
The store is next to BJ’s Wholesale Club.
Payne said Turner, an employee who has worked with Willard Payne for more than 30 years, has become a partner in the company. They registered Mailbox Plus 2 LLC with the state on May 25.
Pamela Payne is 51% owner and Turner, Vice President, 49%.
âHe asked me if I would consider partnering with him and forming an LLC. I had no problem getting a partner, âPayne said.
âActually, I’m glad I did because starting a letterbox business is very tedious. Ben immediately rose to the challenge while I handled the paperwork and made sure we were on time with the buying process.
They opened the 1,371 square foot Mailbox Plus 2 on October 4th.
Payne retired on June 30, 2008, as Director of Human Resources for Duval County Public Schools after 36 years in teaching.
Turner retired on July 26, 2021 from REEF, a parking company.
Turner said that in elementary school, his great-grandfather owned a convenience store.
âI told myself that I wasn’t going to stop before I opened a business,â he said.
Turner said the Paynes gave him the opportunity to work at their company, “and always promised me that if I wanted to start my own business, they would definitely help me.”
He said the Paynes “shaped the success I dreamed of as a kid. When a man’s concept and ideas are broadened, he can never go back to where he was.
Turner said he and Pamela Payne looked at several business models.
âBut after the pandemic ravaged the world, we wiped out several companies. We have found that this concept is almost recession proof.
Mailbox and Business Center Developers is based in Las Vegas. Payne said there are several in the United States.
âIf this letterbox store is successful, we plan to open one in the Northside of Jacksonville and one in Baton Rouge, Louisiana,â she said.
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