U.S. Postal Service returns to downtown Vicksburg

Published 9:24 pm Friday, April 22, 2016

A local stationary store can now also be known as the Village Post Office.

Paper Plus, 1318 Washington St., is now offering postal product and services in addition to the party supplies, gifts and stationary the store regularly carries.

“We sell stamps, we mail boxes, we have the Priority boxes, but we don’t do registered or certified,” owner Mary Welch said.

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Welch said she wanted to become a place where people could utilize postal services because of the great demand downtown with high tourist traffic and a growing number of locals who live downtown.

“There were so many people that wanted to buy stamps— tourists, people off the boats—they wanted to mail stuff, and there was no place close to do that,” Welch said. “Of course the people on the boats have no transportation to get to the post office.”

She said a lot of residents of The Lofts at First National, which is located across the street, have already come to her store to send mail. She sees having post office capabilities as a way to provide for customers while also drawing them into her store.

“Hopefully people will come in to buy postage and will shop and buy other products that we have,” Welch said.

Another feature the Village Post Office offers to customers is shorter lines than at the United States Post Office.

“People don’t like to go to the main post office and stand in line, especially if they just need to buy stamps,” Welch said.

Unfortunately, Welch said she isn’t able send anything internationally.

“There are still some things you have to go to the post office for,” Welch said.

Vicksburg’s post office was once located downtown on Crawford Street next door to City Hall. Years ago the post office moved to Pemberton Square Boulevard.

Welch said the U.S. Postal Service tried to get a village post office started downtown after the move but could not find any merchant willing to accommodate the products and services. Recently she was at the post office on Pemberton to buy international stamps, and an employee encouraged her to look into opening a downtown store and so she did.

“A lot of people still don’t know about it,” Welch said.

A ribbon cutting ceremony hosted by the Vicksburg Warren Chamber of Commerce will be held at noon Wednesday. Postmaster Bill Farrior Jr. and Mayor George Flaggs Jr. are scheduled to speak at the ceremony, and light refreshments will be served.