On Friday, Jan. 25, Orland will add another claim to fame as the 25th Village Post Office (VPO) in the Greater Indiana District opens at Bunch’s Shop Rite Market on SR 120 in Orland.
Orland is a town of 434 people set amid the 101 lakes of Steuben County. It was the first settlement in the county to be populated by immigrants from Vermont and was originally known as Vermont Settlement. As a result, each year in July the people of Orland celebrate their heritage with the Vermont Settlement Festival.
Bunch’s Shop Rite Market is a full-service grocery store that’s been in existence for the past 38 years and was founded by Ronald Bunch, father of Chris Bunch, the store’s manager.
Bunch is very enthusiastic about locating a VPO in his business. “We’ve actually been selling stamps at the store for about 30 years, but we wanted to do more for the community in Orland,” he said. “We’re a part of that community and we wanted to offer an additional service. We’ll have the Priority Mail Flat-Rate boxes here, and as well as being able to buy stamps outside Post Office hours, our customers can drop off their mail with us. Orland is very busy during the summer with campers and tourists coming to visit the lakes in Steuben County as well as the Vermont Settlement Festival, so I think the VPO will be a great convenience for our visitors.”
The new postal center will be opened by Gary Soultz, U.S. Postal Service (USPS) manager of post office operations. Several USPS and local officials will be present at the event. The ribbon-cutting ceremony will take place at 1 p.m. and an open house will follow until 2 p.m.
Last year, the Postal Service introduced the VPO model as an alternate retail location for postal products and services, especially in rural communities. VPOs are operated by local businesses contracting with the USPS, and offer a range of popular postal products and services including stamps and flat-rate packaging.
More information about VPOs is available at www.uspsvillage postoffice.com.