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Siesta Key Pack and Ship in Southbridge Mall reports that it is enjoying some strong demand. (Photo by Jane Bartnett).

By Jane Bartnett

The busy 2020 holiday shipping season was about to kick off when ownership of the Siesta Key Pack and Ship store in Southbridge Mall changed hands.

Long-time customers entering the shop, also known as the Mail Pack Center, found a new face behind the counter as Kenneth Beri, the new general manager, welcomed them to the family-owned business. Debra Dubbs, Berio’s mother-in-law, owns the shop as well as a second location called Sarasota Pack and Ship on North Beneva Road.

As shipping volume skyrocketed in towns and cities around the world, Siesta Key was no exception. As it did during the past year, packing and shipping demand grew as customers sent packages to Canada and around the U.S. When the pandemic forced many businesses to close their doors, the Siesta Key Pack and Ship store was deemed an essential business because residents and visitors alike depended upon it for mail, the delivery of essential prescriptions, and other materials.

Dubbs, a Sarasota native, credits the regional real estate boom with helping her business. It is generating a sizable increase in the amount of paperwork, she said, while legal lending and sales transactions often need original signatures and deliveries.

The growth of E-Bay and Etsy, as well as other e-commerce sites, has also boosted shipping and packing sales.

The increasing number of remote workers is another factor that has helped the store’s bottom line. Although living and working remotely on a barrier island can present some challenges, Berio suggests that the Siesta Key Pack and Ship store’s services are made-to-order for today’s remote worker.

“Not everything can be e-mailed and access to a private personal mailbox can be beneficial in today’s business world,” he said.

To meet that demand, Siesta Key Pack and Ship offers physical mailbox rentals for long- and short-term periods. Small boxes are $35 for one month, $75 for three months, $100 for six months and $170 for one year. Medium-box rentals are $150 for six months and $200 for one year. Large-box rentals are $395 for one year.

The store also accepts delivery of legal documents and other papers for a small fee. On-site notary public service is also available, as is paper shredding at $1.50 per pound. Key duplication, computer access, computer printing, faxing, and shipping through USPS, UPS, and FedEx are also offered.  

A new mail service called Digital Mail Box through iPostal that allows customers to manage their mail digitally around the clock is one of Siesta Key Pack and Ship’s latest customer offerings. International shipping services are provided through DHL International and the low-cost Polonez Parcel Service that has a minimum of 20 pounds per item requirement.

Businesses with their own accounts can drop off pre-packed and labeled shipments at the store. Siesta Key Pack and Ship is an authorized drop-off location for FedEx, UPS, USPS, and DHL.

Packages and letters are not the only things that the store can move along. To better serve Siesta Key’s mobile clientele when it comes time to transporting fragile valuables and furniture from vacation homes, estate sales and intra-family transfers of valuable items, customers can access the store’s full service on-site “white glove” crating and freighting service. 

In the coming months plans call for increasing the number of rental mailboxes and adding finger printing and passport services.

Siesta Key Pack and Ship is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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