by Dave Warner

It may look like Ole Sals and now the Cafe at Stone Mill to most folks, but before the holidays, according to Neil Rosenbaum with Rock City Development, LLC, that spot in Stone Mill is going to be transformed into a UPS Store. And with that new store coming in, it means a lot of changes for that level of the facility.

Rosenbaum said that it all came about because “I frequent two UPS Stores near my home and every time I go in there, there’s people coming in and out. I had to mail a package to my son, and there was a line of people in there. I didn’t have his address, so I had to text him, and while I was milling around waiting for him to answer, there was just one person after another coming in there.”

“This was in Gloversville, not Manhatten, so I called Dave Casullo and said we ought to think about getting a UPS Store,” he said.

They didn’t know how it all worked, so they started the research to figure out what it would take to get one in Little Falls.

Rosenbaum then filled out the paperwork and got connected to a woman who helped walk him through the process of making it happen. “She develops the relationship up until the point that you sign and then you’re taken over by the UPS people,” stated Rosenbaum.

During this process, they were educated on what was needed and were put in touch with other franchisees to see what their experience had been like.

“We realized that the closest UPS Store is in Utica. There are a couple of drop off places in Herkimer, but that’s it,” he said.

The pair is always looking for things that will enhance and service the community and be profitable and support their venture in Little Falls.

“We have an agreement now that gives us up to one year to open and operate a UPS franchise. We have gotten to the point where we have a definitive agreement with UPS where we have the exclusive rights to have this in Little Falls,” stated Rosenbaum.

It’s a double win for the owners of Stone Mill as people who would normally have to drive ten or more miles to get to the UPS Store will now be able to do that in town and at the same time get a cup of coffee or lunch at the Cafe at Stone Mill.

“We’re hoping that you visit the shops and that you get ice cream, a cup of coffee or a sandwich. That’s really what we’re hoping for,” said Rosenbaum.

Services that will be offered are mailing and shipping, mailboxes, copying, faxing, laminating, three hold binding, shredding, shipping, receiving, packing, boxes, greeting cards and anything else that you can get at a UPS Store.

It will also be an Amazon drop off location. “Amazon tells people to just take your shipment to a UPS Store,” stated Rosenbaum.

“For people who want to have a unique mailing address and access it, we’ll be open longer hours, including holidays and weekends, than the post office,” he said. “This is why people prefer to have boxes in a UPS Store.”

The hours have not been decided as of yet, but Rosenbaum said, “Once we have the UPS Store, we’ll be open seven days a week.”

There are still a few details to work out, but Rosenbaum says their goal is to be open by the busy holiday shipping season. One of those details, is where is the Cafe going to go if the UPS Store is going to take that spot?

“We’re going to move it to the west end of the building. When we do that, it will be all new and more up to date. We’re going to put some new equipment in as well,” said Rosenbaum.

They are also putting in new bathrooms and a new wall, which is Phase I construction and scheduled to be completed by the middle of October.

Photo by Dave Warner – The old location for the Cafe at Stone Mill will be moving to the west end of the building before the end of the year.

Then, the Phase II construction will start on the west end of the first floor, creating a new space for the cafe. Once completed, the location of the cafe will change overnight. The new Cafe will also have an exterior ice cream window for walk-up traffic.

They are also looking at adding outside picnic tables in the spot, and there will be a new entrance to the Cafe. Once the cafe move is complete, they plan to start work on the renovations needed for the UPS Store.

“We’ve got to get this open quickly because a UPS Store does most of their business during the holiday period,” said Rosenbaum.

They also have to get staff trained for working in the facility before that time. Raechel Frink is the manager that has been chosen for the facility and she started training in San Diego this week for two weeks. After it is completed, she’ll head to Syracuse to complete the program.

Rosenbaum said, “We think this will drive people to the area and hopefully they’ll patronize other retailers and drive more traffic to Canal Place. It’s a service that you have to go a long way for right now.”

On top of that, studies have shown that specialty packing of antiques is a large part of what UPS does. “Here we are right in the center of antique stores, so there’s a lot of great fits,” said Rosenbaum.

The company is also assessing the need for co-working space, which would then conveniently be able to use the UPS Store business services. “Being able to do reports and large format printing would be a real plus for these businesses,” he said.

With all the increased business activity in Canal Place, parking may end up being a problem. According to Rosenbaum “We’re definitely aware of it and are working on options with the help of the City.”

If you are interested in the co-working space idea, Rosenbaum would like you to get in touch with him via email at nrosenbaum@rockcity.dev.