Skip to main content
Mathis Report
Jax Daily Record Monday, Oct. 18, 202105:10 AM EST

Search for a ‘recession-proof’ concept leads to mailbox business

After working together for 30 years, Pamela Payne and Ben Turner teamed up to open the area’s first Mailbox Plus 2 store.

Pamela Payne and Ben Turner opened the first Mailbox Plus 2 store in Jacksonville at 12220 Atlantic Blvd., Suite 130, at southeast Kernan and Atlantic boulevards.

Payne, the owner and president, said COVID-19 was a reality check for her and her husband, longtime Northeast Florida business owner and community leader Willard Payne Jr.

She wanted a business that would remain profitable during a pandemic with a service people needed.

It presented itself, over time.

She mailed a Christmas card to her niece in Houston in December that was delivered in April.

“That is when I said, ‘OK, perhaps I can open a mailbox store,’” she said.

She said a mailbox store typically sells pack-and-ship services as well as leases mailboxes to people to receive business or personal mail and packages.

“I also thought about law enforcement officers, judges and others who would prefer to not have their addresses listed,” she said.

Pamela Payne shows off the store's collection of mailboxes.

Through research, she said she found Mailbox and Business Center Developers, which does not charge a franchise fee and allows her to sell what she wants.

She said Mailbox Plus 2 offers services including mailbox rentals, notary services, shipping, copying, faxing, shredding, laminating, binding, gift wrapping, balloons, passport photos, and virtual and digital mail services.

The store is next to BJ’s Wholesale Club.

Payne said Turner, an employee who worked with Willard Payne for more than 30 years, became a partner in the business. They registered Mailbox Plus 2 LLC with the state May 25.

Pamela Payne is 51% owner, and Turner, vice president, owns 49%. 

“He asked if I would consider partnering with him and form an LLC. I had no problem with having a partner,” Payne said.

“In fact, I am glad I did because setting up a mailbox business is very tedious. Ben immediately took on the challenge while I managed the paperwork and made certain we were on target with the purchasing process.”

They opened the 1,371-square-foot Mailbox Plus 2 on Oct. 4.

Payne retired June 30, 2008, as director of human resources for Duval County Public Schools after 36 years in education.  

Turner retired July 26, 2021, from REEF, a parking company.

Ben Turner shows off the store's wall of supplies.

Turner said that during grade school, his great-grandfather owned a convenience store. 

“I told myself I wasn’t going to stop until I opened a business,” he said.

Turner said the Paynes gave him an opportunity to work in their businesses, “and always promised me if I wanted to open my own business they would certainly help me.”

He said the Paynes “modeled the success I dreamed of when I was a child. When a man’s concept and ideas are expanded he can never go back to where he was.”

Turner said he and Pamela Payne looked at several business models. 

“But after the pandemic ravaged the world, we eliminated several companies. We found that this concept is almost recession-proof.”

Mailbox and Business Center Developers is based in Las Vegas. Payne said there are several throughout the United States. 

“If this mailbox store is successful, we plan to open one on Jacksonville’s Northside and one in Baton Rouge, Louisiana,” she said.

Be the first to know the latest breaking news and information that business leaders rely on in this fast-paced changing Northeast Florida economy. Regional business news, trends and statistics needed to grow your business. Key upcoming events you won’t want to miss and much more. Click Here to Grow your Business NOW!

Related Stories