By: Staff Reports | Gwinnett Citizen

Safa Express opens new Official US Postal Service Unit in Lawrenceville with extended hours
The United State Postal Service opens Official Contract Postal Service Unit in Lawrenceville GA off Grayson Hwy
By Beth Volpert Johansen

Lawrenceville - In a “big box” world, Safa Express BP Convenience store offers more than lottery tickets, milk, and gas. The family-run store provides the old-fashioned value of being an integral part of the neighborhood while providing carefully selected conveniences inside a spotless establishment.

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The newest convenience, an actual Contract Postal Unit, or CPU, opened for business right inside the store providing seven-days-a-week post office services. Safa Express is the 21st USPS Postal Service Unit established in the State of Georgia that is operational and the second in Gwinnett County. 

Somewhat reminiscent of a general store post office, the new retail unit represents a partnership between the USPS and Safa Express owner, Nayef Abuaisheh, who sought out the opportunity in a competitive process. “The goal and purpose is to go out and meet the customer where they are,” says USPS CPU Coordinator, Matt Almand. “We want to get them what they need by offering more options.” Safa Express Postal Unit is open 7 days a week 9:00am - 7:00pm. Collection times are Monday - Friday 4:00pm and Saturday 4pm. Sunday and Holidays collections are closed for collection service but open for regular postal services.

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Pictured Above is owner Nayef Abuaisheh, Lawrenceville Postmaster Robert Allen, Lawrenceville Mayor Judy Jordan Johnson, and USPS Atlanta Area District Manager, Scott Raymond

For Nayef Abuaisheh and his nephew, Hashem, who will manage the postal unit, the decision to compete for and build the post office inside the store was a part of their overall plan to provide the most convenient of convenience store experiences. “I really like to have a lot of services,” says Nayef. “We offer a car wash, check cashing, fax, notary services, and the nation’s first nitrogen tire inflation vending machine; the post office is a great addition to these.” The Abuaisheh family has turned the store into a destination with a large part of the business coming from regular customers who are greeted with smiles and a manager, Laura, who knows most by name and the regular lottery numbers they play. “The customers are really looking forward to having the post office here,” says Laura.

To celebrate the official opening of the post office, a ribbon-cutting was held on the morning of June 12th. Lawrenceville Mayor, Judy Jordan Johnson was joined by USPS Atlanta District Manager, Scott Raymond and several USPS representatives and Lawrenceville’s Postmaster Robert Allen with several of his staff, and the Abuaisheh family to cut the red ribbon and open for business. 

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Kris Payne, Manager of Retail for the Atlanta District gave opening remarks: “We are so pleased to be able to open this very important extension of our service in the City of Lawrenceville.” She then introduced Mayor Johnson who welcomed the new business model to the city by saying, “The constituents of Lawrenceville value the ability to come here at later, more convenient, hours.” Following Mayor Johnson, USPS Atlanta Area District Manager, Scott Raymond spoke to the gathering. “Alternative access is what we try to strive for; it is convenient for our customer and provides more business for our partner CPU’s.” He went on to describe the venture as a model investment with a conservative effort that benefits both the USPS and the partner business.

Newly appointed Lawrenceville Postmaster, Robert Allen was happy to see the new Post Office open. “An endeavour like this is good for the people of Lawrenceville,” said Allen. “The extended hours and location will take traffic off the Crogan Street location and provide convenience for customers.”

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Hashem Abuaisheh sells Mayor Judy Jordan Johnson her first roll of stamps at Safa Express
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Sylvia Culberson, Co Owner of the LONA Gallery, purchases a roll of stamps
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Chris Cawthon with Media Maker Group, a print and direct mail company in the City of Lawrenceville, purchases postage for business. The candy's and nuts pictured were provided by Nancy Alhabashi (Left) who owns Nancy's Candy and Spice on the Square in Downtown Lawrenceville and enjoyed by Mayor Judy Jordan Johnson (center) and all. 

Among the first to purchase stamps at the new location were Mayor Jordan and local business owner, Carolyn Wright of the LONA Gallery. “I am glad to be here,” says Carolyn whose gallery is just a few doors down from Nancy Alhabashi’s Candy and Spices on the Square in Downtown Lawrenceville. “They are wonderful people.” Nancy is Nayef’s niece and was on hand to hostess the event and provide treats to all the visitors with the same genuine smile that seems to be a family trait.

When customers walk through the front door of the Safa Express BP located on GA Hwy 20, they will be greeted by the same people, inhale the aroma of fresh coffee, and walk through the same well-stocked and extremely clean store. The one difference will be that the interior has been altered to provide a post office mini-store. Behind the counter, customers will find Hashem Abuaisheh ready to assist them with stamps, packages, and other post office services. After the ribbon cutting ceremony, people lined up to purchase rolls of stamps. Hashem was chattied with each customer with a smile as he rang up their purchases. “Thank you very much,” he would say to each before warmly greeting the next customer. 

It is clear that the post office counter in the modern general store will continue to serve an age-old purpose beyond that of mail services. The new business model brings back the old values of storekeeping and knowing your customers. For Nayef Abuaisheh and his family, the idea behind the name “Safa” is loosely translated into “purity”. It is with a pure heart and love for the neighborhood that Safa opens the doors to the new post office with the old-fashioned values. 

Safa Express is located at 725 Grayson Hwy, Lawrenceville GA 40046.
Phone (770) 277-1119
CLICK HERE to see the album of the Ribbon Cutting on Faceboo