Saturday, February 25, 2017

Chocolatiers Enjoy Sweet Success

Harbor Sweets has been in the chocolate business for more than 40 years, and its top executive attributes part of its success to USPS.

The Massachusetts company began as a basement hobby of founder Ben Strohecker, who first offered sweets for sale to 75 friends and family on his Christmas card list.

Today, Harbor Sweets employs more than 100 chocolatiers and mails 25,000 catalogs to homes and businesses around the world.

Phyllis LeBlanc, the company’s president and chief executive officer, worked as a part-time chocolate dipper while in college.

“I never dreamed I would eventually buy the company and carry on Ben’s legacy of excellence,” LeBlanc says in a new video on the National Postal Museum’s site.

The 3-minute, 21-second segment is part of “America’s Mailing Industry,” an online exhibit showcasing how the Postal Service and businesses work together.

While Harbor Sweets now sells its products through gift and gourmet stores, it still relies heavily on its mail-order catalog for business.

“From our earliest days to our newest endeavors, Harbor Sweets is known the world around for pride and devotion to a tradition of producing the best, and offering it with a smile,” LeBlanc says.

Source: LINK

Friday, February 24, 2017

Rolling Out Informed Delivery by ZIP

The Postal Service is expanding Informed Delivery, an optional, free feature that provides eligible residential consumers with a digital preview of their incoming mail.

Through Informed Delivery, users receive images of the outside of their household’s letter-sized mailpieces that will arrive in their physical mailboxes soon. Users can receive these images via email or by accessing their online dashboard at

USPS has been testing Informed Delivery in select areas. By late April, the feature is slated to be available nationwide.

“Informed Delivery makes it easy and convenient to know what’s arriving in your mailbox each day,” said Product Innovation Vice President Gary Reblin. “We’re eager to share this new feature with consumers across the United States.”

The Postal Service is rolling out Informed Delivery by ZIP Code, beginning with major metropolitan areas.

Employees, who are also invited to sign up for Informed Delivery, will be notified when the feature becomes available in their area.

They can also check the feature’s availability by using the ZIP Code lookup feature at, which has sign-up instructions and a list of FAQs.

The Informed Delivery pages on Blue and LiteBlue have additional information.

Source: LINK

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Mail Order Catalogs are Driving Sales

Hammacher Schlemmer is known for selling cutting-edge gadgets, but the company relies on a tried-and-true vehicle — its mail order catalogs — to
communicate with customers.

“The catalog is a catalyst for all of our marketing efforts,” Henry Coleman, a Hammacher marketing executive, says in a video on the National Postal Museum’s site.

“It really serves as the primary way that we communicate to our current customers and acquire new customers.”

The 90-second video is part of “America’s Mailing Industry,” an online exhibit showcasing USPS and its business customers.

Hammacher, based in Niles, IL, mails about 60 million catalogs each year.
Although the publication dates to the 1880s, making it the nation’s oldest continuously operating catalog, it remains innovative.

Hammacher has embraced the Postal Service’s efforts to encourage businesses to use augmented reality and similar features to enliven their mailpieces.

For example, customers can hover their smartphone or tablet over Hammacher’s catalog pages to see items come to life, read product reviews or make online purchases.

“The internet allows us to deepen the relationship with our existing customers and deepen the relationship for prospects, but only as a companion to our existing processes,” Coleman says.

Source: LINK

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Special Delivery in San Diego

While some expectant couples choose a hospital to deliver their babies, one San Diego couple recently chose a Post Office parking lot.

After going into labor four weeks early, Vanessa Prado and her boyfriend, Dennis Dillard, were en route to a hospital last week when Prado began to feel her baby’s head crowning.

“I just said, ‘I’m not going to make it, and we’ve got to pull over now,” she told the local NBC station.

Realizing there was no slowing down the early morning arrival, the couple had a choice to make — pull into a McDonald’s or the Mira Mesa Post Office, which hadn’t opened yet.

The couple chose the Post Office for their special delivery.

Two San Diego police officers arrived at the scene minutes later, just in time to help Vanessa deliver her baby boy.

The couple named their baby Pierce Dillard, but at least one other option was considered.

“We joked that we were going to name him Pierce Postal,” Prado said.

Source: LINK

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Black History Month in Coral Springs

From left, Rock Road Restoration Historical Group, Inc. President and founding member Hazel Armbrister; Coral Springs Branch Manager, Customer Services Richard Elam; Pompano Beach Main Office Supervisor, Customer Services Cherylann Franco; and Miami Maintenance Support Clerk Linda Patrick.
From left, District Judge Charlene Edwards Honeywell, U.S. District Court of the Middle District of Florida; Master of Ceremonies Brother Lester Faison; Rock Road Restoration Historical Group, Inc. founding member Katie Wiggins; and Coral Springs Branch Manager, Customer Services Richard Elam.
Photos: Fort Lauderdale Customer Relations Coordinator Kelly Worthman 

The U.S. Postal Service joined the Black History Month celebration with Rock Road Restoration Historical Group, Inc.

Coral Springs Branch Manager, Customer Services Richard Elam; Pompano Beach Main Office Supervisor, Customer Services Cherylann Franco and Miami Maintenance Support Clerk Linda Patrick  joined together to dedicate the 40th stamp in the Black Heritage Series, Dorothy Height, to the Rock Road Restoration Historical Group, Inc. and to the Guest Speaker, District Judge Charlene Edwards Honeywell, U.S. District Court of the Middle District of Florida.

Elam closed the presentation with a quote from Height, "Without community service, we would not have a strong quality of life.  It's important to the person who serves as well as the recipient. It's the way in which we ourselves grow and develop."

Monday, February 20, 2017

USPS Dedicates JFK Stamp in Boston

Today the U.S. Postal Service will commemorate the centennial of President John F. Kennedy’s birth by dedicating a Forever stamp in his honor at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston.

The stamp features a 1960 photograph by Ted Spiegel of Kennedy campaigning for president in Seattle. The artwork accompanying the stamp, showing Kennedy in a reflective pose, is a 1970 oil painting by Aaron Shikler (courtesy of the White House / White House Historical Association). The Forever stamp, available only at the event on Presidents Day, will be available nationwide in Post Offices on Tuesday, February 21.

Kennedy’s Legacy

Born May 29, 1917, John Fitzgerald Kennedy was the 35th president of the United States. He remains for many a captivating and charismatic personality — one who appealed to the nation's higher ideals and inspired young Americans to engage in public service.

On January 20, 1961, Kennedy, at age 43, became the nation’s first Catholic president and the youngest person elected to the presidency. In his Inaugural Address, he famously called upon Americans to “ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country.”

In the early months of his administration, Kennedy announced his signature initiative, the Peace Corps, to aid people in developing nations. In May 1961, Kennedy announced the bold goal of landing a man on the Moon before the end of the decade, setting the nation on the path toward achieving the historic Moon landing in 1969.

During the height of the Cold War, Kennedy confronted the Soviet Union in a series of conflicts that could have escalated into a major war. During the summer of 1961, for example, he defended the status of West Berlin, a small pocket of freedom within Soviet-supported East Germany, when it came under threat from Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev.

Kennedy opposed Khrushchev again in the fall of 1962 after Soviet forces installed nuclear missiles in Cuba. Against the urging of his military advisers to bomb the missile sites, Kennedy decided on a naval quarantine to prevent further shipments of military equipment to Cuba. After suspenseful days in which war appeared imminent, Soviet ships heading to Cuba turned back, and Khrushchev agreed to remove the missiles.

On June 11, 1963, Kennedy made an impassioned speech on civil rights that characterized the unequal status and treatment of blacks in America as a moral crisis. He then submitted a bill to end racial segregation, which in substance was passed after his death as the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963, in Dallas, Texas.

Presidents Day and a History Lesson

Mount Rushmore National Memorial is a sculpture carved into the granite face of Mount Rushmore, a batholith in the Black Hills, in Keystone, South Dakota. Sculpted by Gutzon Borglum and his son,  Lincoln Borglum, Mount Rushmore features 60-foot sculptures of the heads of four United States presidents: George Washington (1732–1799),  Thomas Jefferson (1743–1826), Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919), and  Abraham Lincoln (1809–1865).

Celebrating Presidents Day as a holiday did not come about until around the last four decades, but its roots go back to our first president. How did we come to celebrate the third Monday in February as "Presidents Day"? The Celebration of Washington's Birthday although Presidents Day is now recognized as honoring the birthdays of President George Washington and President Abraham Lincoln, the holiday started as just a celebration of Washington's birthday.

Depending on which calendar system you ascribed to (Julian or Gregorian) in the time of the Founding Fathers, Washington's birthday fell either on February 11 or February 22. To celebrate his birth, early Americans celebrated on February 22. However, the celebration wasn't written into federal law until 1880, making Washington the first person to be honored with a federal holiday.

By the 20th century, ideas had begun to shift around the celebration of Washington's birthday. President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act into law in 1968, shifting Veterans Day, Memorial Day, and Washington's Birthday to Mondays in order to lengthen weekends and allow more time to travel for people to be with their families.