Last month, the San Francisco Small Business Commission added the Castro mailbox and delivery store PO Plus (584 Castro St.) to the city’s Legacy Business Registry. thirty years.

There are currently 320 small businesses registered throughout the city. PO Plus is the first postal and delivery business to be awarded.

In Castro, PO Plus joins Anchor Oyster Bar, Beck’s Motor Lodge, Castro Country Club, Cliff’s Variety, The Cove on Castro, Courtney’s Produce, Cruising The Castro Walking Tour, For Your Eyes Only, GLBT Historical Society and Marcello’s. increase. Pizza, Moby Dick, Rolo San Francisco, Ruby’s Clay Studio & Gallery, San Francisco Bay Times, and Yankee Clipper Travel have all received legacy status since registration began in 2016.

PO Plus at 584 Castro Street opened in June 1982. | | Photo: Stephen Bracco/Foodline

PO Plus owner Steve Matel said: “It’s not just for me, it’s for the people who started his PO Plus before me, especially Paul Moffett, who served as the ship’s steward for his 22 years.”

“I would like to thank the people who came before me and he has built a great business,” Martel added.

Affectionately known as the “Gay Post Office,” PO Plus opened in June 1982.

PO Plus owner Steve Martell said: | | Photo: Stephen Bracco/Foodline

PO Plus was founded by JD Larson to provide Castro residents and visitors with a place to meet their packaging, shipping, printing and business services needs. Paul Moffett took over the store in 1994 and operated it until 2016, when he sold the store to Martell.

In its early days, PO Plus was stigmatized for maintaining an address on Castro Street, offering customers the option to send mail.
A PO Box on Bryant Street. Mr. Larson made the daily trek to retrieve mail and return it to his PO Plus so that customers could easily pick up mail at Castro.

At the height of the AIDS epidemic, PO Plus offered free notarization services to Coming Home Hospice residents.

Photo: Stephen Bracco/Foodline

“When you think of San Francisco business, we are your quintessential business,” Martel said.

Martell says being part of the community has been integral to PO Plus’ mission since 1982. “That’s why we’ve been able to thrive for 40 years. The fact that it’s been continuously gay-owned and operated since day one is another quintessential thing,” he added.

In addition to providing superior postal, shipping, and business services, PO Plus also brings Castro to culture by maintaining the historic store where BiPol, the first bisexual political organization, was founded in the 1980s. Rafael Mandelman in a letter of support to the Small Business Administration.

“Given PO Plus’ enduring presence in Castro and their commitment to providing quality, community-oriented service, we strongly believe they will benefit from being part of San. .
Francisco’s Legacy Business Registry,” added Mandelman.

Photo: Stephen Bracco/Foodline

Creating a friendly and welcoming environment has also contributed to the success of the business, Martel adds. “PO Plus is like a non-drinking bar. Customers come in just to talk to someone.

Many of the staff have been there since Martel took over in 2016.

After 40 years, Martel says PO Plus’ adaptability and staying on top of trends have made it a successful business. Recent additions include virtual email and soon to be added wide format printing. Martell plans to put a large-format printer into operation next year so that customers can print signs and banners.

Photo: Stephen Bracco/Foodline

But 40 years in business would not have been possible without challenges such as the Covid-19 pandemic. Fortunately, PO Plus was classified as an essential business early in the pandemic, Martel said.

Many businesses were forced to close, but Martel said Hoodline PO Plus was open every day and never closed.

“We’ve had two great years,” Martel said. “It was a really strange situation in which we were thriving.”

Martel explained that PO Plus meets the needs of telecommuters who need a place to print, fax and ship packages.

In addition, Martel said PO Plus received a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan from the Small Business Administration (SBA). According to public records, PO Plus said he received $59,600 in April 2020.

Looking back on owning the PO Plus for six years, Martel said:

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