The UPS Store in Kearney opened in February 2004 and this year celebrated our thirteenth year in business. One of the highlights of our day is when a customer tells us they are glad to have such a business in Kearney. Small business owners have asked how we remain open in a small town in the present economic conditions. We believe that focusing on customer service and the “experience” is one key to any success that we have experienced. In addition to needing a service you provide each customer needs to want to come into your place of business. Providing an atmosphere that promotes this feeling is important. And, we are continually looking for new ways to serve our current customers and constantly trying to reach more customers both locally and farther out in rural areas.
We offer services not available elsewhere in Kearney or at other centers north of the river. Our mantra “We can print that”, which you see on my apron is the goal we strive for. The center does color and black & white printing, business cards, envelopes, two and three part forms, posters, banners, flyers, door hangers, rubber stamps and much more. We offer other services as well: passport photos, notary service, fax service, mailbox services, and freight. Missouri changed their fingerprint process on July 1, 2012 and we are a contract site for state fingerprinting. Our customers include school district employees, realtors, health care providers, and family services applicants. They come from as far north as the Iowa border and as far south as Pleasant Hill. We have even served nurses from Overland Park.
Since we opened I have tried to be active and support the community. The UPS Store in Kearney was selected as Franchisee of the Year for 2006. The award measures corporate compliance, growth, and sales but is to a large degree an award for customer service and being part of the community. In this way members of the community helped us achieve this award. We were awarded the Excellence in Education Award by the Northland Regional Chamber of Commerce in 2008 and 2015 for our efforts in supporting the Kearney School District. At our Convention in August 2016 I was selected as Humanitarian of the Year from our 4500 centers nationwide.
In 2010 we completed the paperwork, inspections, and training to become certified as a national training center. New store owners and managers now come to our center to train before they own/operate their center. We have trained people from Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Arkansas, South Dakota, and Oklahoma. I am on the executive board of the Kearney Education Foundation. The mission of the foundation is to bring together area business and community leaders who value education to guide and direct resources outside the district budget thereby providing expanded opportunities to enrich the educational experience for students and staff of the Kearney School District.
The store supports the Toys for Tots Literacy Program. To date we have put thousands of books back into the local community. This will also be the eleventh year we have partnered with the Kearney Parents as Teachers program to produce the booklet that is presented to each new kindergarten student during the spring visit. These booklets are school specific so the new students can look at pictures of their school, principal, teacher, classrooms, and office personnel. It helps makes their first week at school more friendly since they recognize faces and places.
It has been almost two years since we completed our remodel/expansion. The center is much more comfortable now both for us and for customers. If you haven’t been in yet please stop by and see the updated center. We presently have five employees. It seems like the high school/college kids are always in transition. The KC area has 41 centers in our COOP. Last year our “little” rural center was number two in print services in the COOP, due in large part to the continued support of the members of the Chamber. Thank you so much!