Brownies Mini Mart in Lindley sells stamps, flat-rate materials as supplement to local post office

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Add stamps and pre-paid priority mail flat-rate envelopes and boxes to the items you can buy at Brownies Mini Mart, 21 Steuben County Route 115 in the Town of Lindley.
Among the latest to become a Village Post Office site, the business also offers a mail collection box.
The Lindley Post Office that is located about two miles up the road will continue to remain open, said Karen Mazurkiewicz, U.S. Postal Service spokesperson for the Western New York District that includes Lindley.
"It's not a replacement but it's really a supplement of what the post office is trying to do, which is grow, increase convenience and be accessible to customers," she said. "It's just trying to put our products and services in places where customers are going anyway and make use of the mail just that much more convenient."
The Village Post Office in Brownies has been operating for a while, but a ribbon-cutting ceremony was held Tuesday, Mazurkiewicz said. "We just wanted to make it official."
Earlier, the postal service had planned to close 3,700 post offices across the country but then decided to explore keeping existing facilities in place with modified retail window hours. Community meetings were held nationwide from October 2012 through November 2014 regarding the window hours at 13,000 rural post offices.
The postal service modified the hours of some post offices in an effort to be fiscally responsible but also to meet customers' needs by preserving the local post office and zip code, Mazurkiewicz said.
The Lindley Post Office's community meeting was held in July. Window hours were subsequently reduced from eight hours to four hours weekdays. Window hours are now 8 a.m. to noon weekdays and 10 a.m. to noon Saturdays. The lobby is open from 8 a.m. to noon Monday through Saturday.
Meanwhile, the Village Post Office will be open at Brownies during its normal business hours from 6 a.m. to midnight seven days a week.
"I think it's going to drive traffic to the store and it'll make it a destination point for people that want to buy stamps or flat-rate priority boxes," store owner Robert Brown said. "We're hoping that, along with those stamps and some of those other products that they're buying through the Village Post Office, they'll also purchase other items in the store,"
It was very easy to work the sale of stamps and flat-rate priority boxes into the business, he said.
"We didn't have to do anything special," Brown said. "It's no different than selling a candy bar or a bottle of soda."
Village Post Offices are located in a variety of locations, including convenience stores, local businesses, retailers, government agencies and libraries, Mazurkiewicz said, citing a library located in Allentown, N.Y. They are operated by the management of those locations.
The first Village Post Office opened in Malone, Wash., in August 2011, and there are currently 856, according to the postal service.
Follow Ray Finger on Twitter @SGRayFinger.

How to apply
Businesses, retailers, government agencies and libraries interested in applying for a contract with the U.S. Postal Service to start a Village Post Office in their community can send an email to vpo.inquiry@usps.gov.