By Michael BRUER
As Christmas creeps ever closer and shoppers dive into the heart of the holiday season, gift buyers and well-wishers can breathe a sigh of relief in La Cañada Flintridge. The Flintridge Bookstore & Coffeehouse has recently signed a contract with the postal service to act as a village post office. The store will now sell stamps and flat rate boxes, and will effectively add to the delivery capabilities of the federal postal service.
The partnership is the first of its kind in an urban environment in Southern California, and one that the postal service clearly has a permanent investment in, as indicated by the installment of a blue mailbox outside the store.
Store manager and owner Peter Wannier is excited about the innovative partnership.
“They approached me with a new program that they wanted to pursue,” he said. “They believed that that we would be a good partnership because we complement the services they provide. We have long hours on the weekend that customers will be able to take advantage of.”
Customers will be able to send priority mail and express mail packages. The Flintridge Bookstore is open Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m.
Wannier spoke on the convenience of the fresh idea.
“I can imagine that at this time of year [the post office] gets a lot of people needing their services. Customers are unable to send what they want sometimes in a timely fashion,” he said. “Now, we can provide that service to them.” The store is currently determining a time to do a proper ribbon cutting ceremony to commemorate the joint venture that is sure to benefit the whole community.
As the owner of the bookstore since its inception in June 2007, Wannier has always stressed the importance of providing services to the community.
“It just has to do with being part of the community and offering a service. We’re really just offering a service. We don’t really make any extra money on it at all. We are open long hours and it is our intent in the community to be an integral part, and to offer a service to the local people,” he said.
A display is now available for viewing at the bookstore that includes the items that are available to purchase. Customers will not be able to use their own packaging, but are allowed to place items in a postal service box for shipment. International shipments are also unavailable through the Flintridge Bookstore & Coffeehouse, and must be done through the post office.
Wannier stressed that the new arrangement is a permanent one, and not merely a gimmick for the holiday season.
“We will by no means replace the post office. I know people can spend a long time waiting in line. We have arranged a special pickup time in the afternoon in addition to a morning pickup time.”
The Flintridge Bookstore and Coffeehouse is located at 1010 Foothill Blvd. La Cañada and can be reached at (818) 790-0717.