Friday, September 19, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Mountain Mail revamps, plans new initiative in 2012

MOUNTAIN MAIL'S crew, left to right, are Amanda Baxter, 4-year-old Conner Baxter, Edward Whittaker, owner, and Annette Winters, who is a notary. Democrat photo by Pat Dollins

MOUNTAIN MAIL'S crew, left to right, are Amanda Baxter, 4-year-old Conner Baxter, Edward Whittaker, owner, and Annette Winters, who is a notary. Democrat photo by Pat Dollins

By
From page D16 | January 06, 2012 |

One of the secrets of success, strangely enough, is learning from failure. Or, as the famous American inventor Thomas Alva Edison put it: Learning from “those things that don’t work.”
Edward Whittacker purchased Mountain Mail in Placerville three years ago. He had high hopes for the local business, which was established in 1982.
As a new business owner, he was in for a shock when the economy failed to rebound after the collapse in 2008.
“The reality of this business is that people have cut back significantly on shipping items — even the larger stores,” Whittacker said. “Also, shipping prices have gone up … due to regulatory restrictions and restrictions that are on the industry at large (from the Patriot Act).”
Add to those external business challenges some internal troubles with employees, poor inventory management and a major power failure that kept the business closed during the majority of one Christmas season … and you have the ingredients for a major entrepreneurial headache.
Whittacker realized he had to re-assess the situation.
Did he want to continue the business? Yes, he did.
And what course of action would be best in order to move forward? Turns out, several steps were necessary, and Whittacker has already taken several — with more to come.
The first step involved correcting the internal issues at Mountain Mail.
Employee “misappropriations” were put to a stop. The store was cleaned.
Consistent operating hours were re-implemented. Inventories were replenished.
The second step meant reaching out to his customers, who had stood by the Placerville business … but were disappointed in the service of the last few years.
A letter went out to residents of El Dorado County from Mountain Mail in November. It was a major eating of “humble pie.”
“It’s no secret that Mountain Mail of Placerville has struggled to keep its focus through many challenges since an ownership change three years ago,” the letter stated. “Inconsistent hours, reduced inventory, road construction, erratic service, troubled technology, and other key problems dampened consumer views of this long-standing enterprise. Many troubles we caused ourselves, many could not be avoided.
“To those of you who still shop at our store please accept our sincerest appreciation for braving our troublesome times; to those who avoid stopping in, we offer our deepest apologies for our very real shortcomings.”
The letter goes on to detail improvements at the store. Mountain Mail will continue to offer customers traditional shipping services, packaging and high quality copy and document services. The store will offer quality shipping at the best rates available.
Mountain Mail will beat any chain store detailed domestic quote by at least 5 percent and any international quote by at least 10 percent. Mountain Mail accepts competitors’ shipping coupons, including from ads outside of El Dorado County.
“We definitely want to fix the store from what happened and move it forward into ancillary ventures that are in demand,” he said. “So it can continue into the next 30 years.”
Whittacker is excited about new services to the community that will be announced shortly after the new year, in 2012.
“Mountain Mail is evolving,” he said. “It’s very exciting and we are moving forward.”
Beginning on Dec. 15, the store will offer free Starbucks coffee every day. No purchase is necessary. Whittacker simply wants members of the community to “drop by, say hello and enjoy.” And to learn about the store’s new direction.
“You learn from failure,” Whittacker said. “The only thing that matters is: Are your customers satisfied? If they aren’t – your business will fail. If they are, you will succeed. This is the first business I’ve operated thus far, and that’s the biggest lesson I’ve learned.”
Mountain Mail is located at 685 Placerville Drive in Placerville. Business hours are Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:15 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon and closed on Sunday. For more information, call 530-626-1634.

Comments

Subscription Required

Thank you for reading the MtDemocrat.com digital edition. In order to continue reading this story please choose one of the following options.

Current Subscribers
If you are a current subscriber and wish to obtain access to MtDemocrat.com, please select the Subscriber Verification option below. If you already have a login, please select "Login" at the lower right corner of this box.

Subscriber Verification

Special Introductory Offer
For a short time we will be offering a discount to those who call us in order to obtain access to MtDemocrat.com and start your print subscription. Our customer support team will be standing by Monday through Friday, 8am to 5pm to assist you.

Call and Save! (530) 344-5000

If you are not a current subscriber and wish not to take advantage of our special introductory offer, please select the $12 monthly option below to obtain access to MtDemocrat.com and start your online subscription

Help?
.

News

 
King Fire briefing in Camino attracts a large crowd

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Arson arrest made in King Fire; Swansboro evacuated

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Suspected arsonist nabbed

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1

 
GDPUD considers forming ag committee

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A3

G’town residents briefed on fire

By Michaela Johnson | From Page: A6

 
Help offered for dislocated workers

By News Release | From Page: A7

Scheduled breakfasts cancelled

By News Release | From Page: A7

 
Volunteers sheltering animal evacuees

By Wendy Schultz | From Page: A8 | Gallery

.

Opinion

Invaluable donation

By Mountain Democrat | From Page: A4

 
Something to think about: Not so fast lane

By Wendy Schultz | From Page: A4

Rock doc: How hard is that?

By E. Kirsten Peters | From Page: A4

 
.

Letters

Lumber mills

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

 
Society’s need for instant gratification

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

Winds of war

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

 
Traffic jam

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

Kid Obama vs. Little Bear Putin

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
.

Sports

King Fire cancels Civil War

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A9

 
Final nonleague games for some squads

By Mike Bush | From Page: A9 | Gallery

Bruins get split

By Mike Bush | From Page: A9 | Gallery

 
Roundup: Sept 17, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A9

On tap

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A9

 
Lady Trojan harriers edge new league foes

By Mike Bush | From Page: A9

Ponderosa spikers prevail in 4

By Jerry Heinzer | From Page: A9 | Gallery

 
.

Prospecting

Roll out the barrels at Oktoberfest

By Wendy Schultz | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Things to do: Sept. 19, 2014

By Democrat Calendar | From Page: B2

Enter an artful world

By Pat Lakey | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Myra Cooper Holmes is enmeshed in her work

By Pat Lakey | From Page: B2 | Gallery

‘Spamalot’ auditions move to Vets Hall

By Imagination Theater | From Page: B3

 
Come out for EDH summer finale

By Julie Samrick | From Page: B3

Extraordinary Collections on display in Folsom

By Folsom History | From Page: B3

 
See travel posters at Railroad Museum

By Railtown | From Page: B4

Placerville Clayworks launches new Website

By News Release | From Page: B4

 
Independent film in pre-production

By Left For Dead Productions | From Page: B4

Bands to play for peace

By Spiritual Center For Positive Living | From Page: B5

 
Apassionato—A toast to the arts

By El Dorado Arts Council | From Page: B5

Exhibition celebrates PPIE centennial

By Fine Arts | From Page: B5

 
Stunning acrobatic feats to wow audiences

By Harris Center for the Arts | From Page: B7

Railtown celebrates working on the railroad

By Railtown | From Page: B12

 
Learn pirate speak at Fairytale Town

By Fairytale Town | From Page: B12

Tall Ship to arrive in Sacramento

By Grays Harbor Historical Seaport | From Page: B12

 
Wining in downtown Amador City

By Amador City | From Page: B12

Run for Courage to raise funds for awareness

By Run For Courage | From Page: B12

 
.

Essentials

Lake levels 9-18-14

By Michael Raffety | From Page: A2

 
Crime log: Sept. 4-5

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A2

.

Obituaries

Jeanine Rae Henderson-Hodges funeral notice

By Contributor | From Page: A2

 
William “Bill” V. Miller

By Contributor | From Page: A2

.

Real Estate

Why buyers will either love or hate your home

By Ken Calhoon | From Page: HS2

 
Putting a sense of place in your space

By Marni Jameson | From Page: HS4

.

Comics

.

Home Source

Why buyers will either love or hate your home

By Ken Calhoon | From Page: HS2

Putting a sense of place in your space

By Marni Jameson | From Page: HS4