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Alton store gains designation as Village Post Office / August 21, 2014

Having originated in Colonial-era taverns, the U.S. Postal Service is returning to its roots with the growing use of Village Post Offices (VPO) to serve rural communities.

The Back Porch Store and Grill, located at 5013 Cluster Springs Road, Alton, will join a growing list of businesses that are becoming Village Post Offices — and for Halifax County, it will be a first.

A ribbon cutting ceremony is set for today at 2 p.m. at Back Porch Store and Grill to mark business’ official introduction into the postal system. The designation will allow Back Porch Store and Grill to sell stamps and accept prepaid packages.

The new VPO will also carry Expedited packaging for added convenience in mailing packages.

The office will operate from 6:30 a.m.-9:00 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 7 a.m.-9 p.m. on Saturday and from noon-6 p.m. on Sundays.

Currrently, the Alton Post Office is only open four hours a day, and the addition of the store in the postal system will allow customers more flexibility to buy stamps and use some services.

The Village Post Office concept is part of the Postal Service’s initiative to provide rural communities with expanded access to postal products. The concept was established in response to the changing mailing needs of the consumer as more and more customers demand easier, more convenient access to postal products and services at places where they are already doing business in the community.

The VPOs are operated by local businesses and offer popular products and services such as stamps and flat rate packaging.

Appalachian District Marketing Manager Misty Osborne will cut the ribbon today assisted by Back Porch Store and Grill proprietor Pam Backstom, Manager Post Office Operations of Area 3 Ted Bell, Retail Manager Belinda Barnett and South Boston Postmaster Patricia Honeycutt.

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