It was a chance comment. That’s all it took.

It was February of this year. Kevin Cox walked into the UPS Store to check his mailbox and began engaging in conversation with the owner, Larry Andrews. The two had known each other for several years.

Knowing that Cox was in construction — he owns Blue Collar Consulting — Andrews mentioned he was in the process of having a house being built in Spearfish, S.D.

“I asked him why there,” Cox said. Andrews’s response was he was planning on retiring. He said he was going to sell the business.

A decision was made right then and there.

“I told him, if you’re selling, I’m buying,” said Cox.

Offer accepted, but not at first. As Cox put it, there were “hoops he had to jump through.” For starters, he had to be approved by the corporation before he could become the UPS Store franchisee, and it did not just include a background check to determine whether he qualified. Once approved he had to attend the UPS Store school, where for three weeks he learned the ins and outs of the business.

But Cox still wasn’t yet “out of the woods.”

There was the SBA (Small Business Association). They, too, had to sign on, as there was a financial obligation due them.

Cox admitted the entire process took a lot longer than anticipated, but it’s now a done deal. He took over ownership Nov. 16.

This will be only the second owner of the UPS Store. After moving from Cody in 2008, Andrews, who is also a licensed professional therapist, saw an opportunity with the UPS Store franchise.

“It looked like a nice investment,” Andrews said. “And it was.”

However, the lure of retirement beckoned and Andrews determined now was the time to heed the sirens’ call. He said he was pleased he was able to find a buyer “literally” through word of mouth.

Upcoming goals

While Cox has certain objectives and goals he intends to pursue — immediate, mid- and long-term — to him, above all else, is customer service, which he cannot emphasize enough. As he said that, several people carrying boxes entered. He greeted them, as did an employee.

“Welcome to the UPS Store,” said Texi Herrick, who has been employee approximately seven months. “How may I help you?”

For the immediate, enjoying the holiday season and making friends with current and new clients is going to be paramount.

“It’s going to be hectic, but we’re going to have fun,” he said. He also plans on hiring perhaps two part-time seasonal employees.

He recently installed a printing machine that will make canvas signs. He wants to expand the printing side of the operation, bringing it in-house, and plans on expanding promoting of the business in 2021.

About the UPS Store

The store, located at 514 Grand Ave., can be reached at 307-742-2223/FAX: 307-742-2282, or online at: https://locations.theupsstore.com/wy/laramie/514-grand-ave.

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