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Main Street News & Deli in New Kensington adds postal service

| Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014, 12:21 a.m.
Eric Felack | Valley News Dispatch
Main Street News & Deli owner Roxann DeSanto and New Kensington Postmaster David Sharick talk about the new 'village post office' that debuted inside the business on Freeport Street in New Kensington on Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014.
Eric Felack | Valley News Dispatch
With store owner Roxann DeSanto preparing for a ribbon-cutting in the background, New Kensington Postmaster David Sharick talks about the new 'village post office' inside the Main Street News & Deli on Freeport Street in New Kensington on Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014.

Customers of the Main Street News & Deli in New Kensington now can buy stamps along with a freshly made sandwich, bottle of soda, tobacco products and lottery tickets.

The Parnassus corner store is recognized as a “village post office” by the Postal Service. The three-year-old concept is aimed at meeting demand for more convenient access to common postal products.

“Ninety percent of your mailing needs can be met here,” New Kensington postmaster David Sharick said.

The store will sell stamps and offer free Priority and Express Mail flat-rate boxes and envelopes.

Letters and packages that already have postage can be mailed at the store and will be picked up daily. Packages that need to be weighed to determine the postage still will need to be taken to a traditional post office.

Because the Main Street Deli is open six days a week, Sharick said it has more availability than the small Parnassus post office about a block away on Freeport Street.

The Parnassus branch is open two hours a day, 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Mondays through Saturdays.

The deli is open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays and from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays. It's closed on Sundays.

Tad Kelley, a Pittsburgh-based spokesman for the Postal Service, said the opening of the Main Street Deli's village post office won't affect hours at any other postal facility in the 15068 ZIP code. They include the main New Kensington branch on 11th Street, the Lower Burrell post office on Leechburg Road and the Arnold Post Office on Fifth Avenue, which also is only open two hours per day.

The Main Street Deli offers the first village post office in the Alle-Kiski Valley. Such post office locations in the region include Clarion, East Brady, Harmony, NuMine, Ohiopyle and Rural Valley.

Kelley said there now are 14 village post offices in the Western Pennsylvania service area, which stretches into West Virginia. There are more than 480 village post office locations nationwide.

Kelley said any business interested in becoming a village post office can contact the Postal Service for more information.

He said there are a wide range of businesses in the region that have signed up — including the historic bank-turned-coffee shop in East Brady, a rafting store in Ohiopyle, a campground store, grocery store, pharmacy and laundromat.

“It's a win-win for us and for the businesses,” Kelley said.

Roxann DeSanto, who co-owns the Main Street Deli with her husband, Bruce, said she hopes adding the postal products to the store's offerings will increase their customer base.

DeSanto said the 38-year-old store known for its homemade hoagies has offered an array of products over the years and brought in various other tenants to the large building at the intersection of Main, Freeport and Fourth streets.

Sharick said he fondly remembers frequent stops for lunch at the deli when he was a mail carrier.

“This is a combination that's hard to beat,” he said.

Liz Hayes is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-226-4680 or lhayes@tribweb.com.

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