Residents of Van Nest and lower Morris Park have a new mailing option.
The Pioneer Supermarket at 775 Morris Park Ave. has recently become a UPS Access Point, giving locals the option to send and receive packages at the grocery store.
Store owner Yhonny Diaz said the access point was added with the needs of his regular customers in mind.
“It’s all about the convenience,” said Diaz.
Convenience with regards to postage needs is something residents of Van Nest and lower Morris Park have lacked in the past few years, said local Joe Bombace, ever since the Van Nest Post Office ceased operating in 2011.
While the UPS Access Point won’t replace all the services of a post office, said Bombace, it will meet some of the communities shipping needs.
“People in Van Nest, they’re looking for substitutes,” he said. “They’ve got it now.”
Bombace said the package pick-up point will be especially helpful for families around the holidays.
The UPS services have been integrated into the supermarket’s service counter, said Diaz. When having something shipped via UPS, customers can choose to have the package brought to the supermarket if they are not home, or have it shipped directly to the access point for no extra fee. Customers can also drop off packages with a prepaid UPS shipping label — which can be bought and printed online — but the counter does not handle any UPS cash transactions.
Diaz pointed out that the store’s long hours offer an extra level of convenience for customers. The service counter operates during all store hours, from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Sundays.
“If they get out of work late, they still have time to get to the supermarket and pick up their packages.”
The UPS service makes the supermarket into a one-stop shop for a variety of errands, said Diaz.
“At the same time they can grab a gallon of milk or whatever they need for dinner,” he said.
The first three weeks of the program have gone smoothly, said Diaz, but he’s found many people are unfamiliar with the program.
“It’s a good service,” said Diaz. “People should look into it.”