Thanks to everyone who tipped us about a change at the Admiral Junction Mailing Center (3614 California SW) – its longtime owners Lee and Larry sold it and retired. This was big news for many longtime loyal patrons. We weren’t able to catch up wth Lee and Larry before the change but we asked their successors, via email, to tell their story:
We, Anastasia and Ben, moved to West Seattle in the spring of 2019. At that time we opened a mailbox at the mailing center and have gotten to know Lee and Larry over the course of the last year.
A few months back when Anastasia was checking mail one day Lee asked if she wanted a mailing center. Since Lee enjoys joking with his customers, she wasn’t sure at first whether he was serious or joking. It became clear over the course of the coming days and weeks that he was indeed serious. Lee turns 79 this year and they were both looking to retire but they also felt an obligation to ensure that their customers would be taken care of going forward. They had run the mailing center for 21 years and care very much about their customers. After discussion between ourselves and with Lee and Larry, we all decided to move forward with the plan for us to take on the business so they could start a well-deserved retirement.
Ben works for Alaska Airlines, but as you can imagine things are a bit slow there at the moment, so this ironically turns out to be a good time for him to dedicate time to a new business. Anastasia was planning to return to the workforce when Lee approached her about the business, so that timing was good as well. Anastasia had been spending quite a bit of her time volunteering at school running the book fairs and assisting in running the library. So her brain is basically a library catalog. We also have three children who you may see “helping” from time to time in the store.
It is indeed an interesting time to take on a new business and there have been challenges getting everything attended to since some companies and agencies are backed up or using alternate processes that are slower than normal but we seem to have slogged through them all and managed to get everything done in time to take over on May 1st. The mailing center has been quite busy as many people are working and shopping from home and we provide a location for them to send and receive packages that they might not otherwise have needed during more normal times. There are also many that need access to office equipment that they don’t have in their home like printers, copiers, and faxes or need a notary because they are not able to attend to something in person like they might usually do. We look forward to continuing to serve the needs of West Seattle as we face the challenges presented by the health pandemic and the added challenge of the closure of the West Seattle Bridge.
As an aside, when we took over we thought it would be nice to have coffee, tea and pastries available for sale. We have partnered with two local businesses, Little Prague Bakery and Mio Coffee, to offer their products daily in our store. We invite not just those needing our other service but our neighbors or those walking their dog to stop in and try them. We have treats for the dogs as well so they don’t feel left out.
We have a new website detailing our hours and services at ajmailingcenter.com.
P.S. If you missed the chance to say goodbye to Lee and Larry, Ben and Anastasia are happy to ensure they get any well-wishing notes or cards you drop off at the Mailing Center.