On a weekday, new mats are laid out in front of the door at Mail It 4 U in Newcastle. Inside, racks of stationary and shipping supplies line the walls as usual, sunlight filtering in. It is Majed Awamleh’s first week as owner. And things are going well.
“It’s good,” Awamleh said. Things are going great.”
He purchased the business on May 1 from Bob and Lynne Plourde, who had been its owners and keepers for 19 years. They still own and operate a Mail It 4 U in Bath, as well as a custom printing business that developed over the years.
A Bremen resident, Awamleh and his wife also own Tri Bay Laundry in Damariscotta, which they purchased in 2018.
Awamleh wasn’t looking to buy another business in 2021 when the Plourdes put the Newcastle location on the market. He read about the business in The Lincoln County News when the Plourdes decided to sell.
Awamleh frequented Mail It 4 U as a customer when he had shipping needs. Otherwise, he didn’t have much of a connection to the place. Except he understood its role within the community. Not just purveyors of cardboard boxes, but also shepherds of care packages and long-awaited letters. As he put it, referring to the owners before him: “They supported the community.”
This kind of support helped foster a “great customer base,” Awamleh said.
A loyal customer base. Thanks in no small part to its staff, noted Awamleh, one of the major draws to the business. All the employees of Mail It 4 U have stayed on, he said.
“They’re amazing. That’s a wonderful thing,” said Awamleh of the staff, whom he described as friendly, ready to help, professional.
While Awamleh wasn’t looking to open anything new, he was impressed by the Plourdes’ work and attitude. In fact, Bob and Lynne have both been onsite everyday to help, Awamleh said.
“They’ve been very gracious about the transition,” which has been a smooth one, he said.
So far, everything in the shop has remained the same, including business hours. Awamleh doesn’t plan on changing much — if anything at all.
The Plourdes continue to help with the day-to-day during the transitional time. Awamleh is grateful and spoke with a deep sense of respect for the business the two had built.
“I think we’re just going to continue their legacy,” he said.