New Name, Same Stellar Service
It was 20 years ago last September that Michael Forman first opened Mail Boxes Etc. in Lake Forest’s Market Square. He was the first business of the kind in our area and quickly became the go-to guy for mailbox service, packing, shipping, copying, and faxing. A lot has changed in the last 20 years, the least of which is the recent name change to Lake Forest Pack and Ship. “We wanted to emphasize packing and shipping because that’s mostly what we do,” says Michael. “And everyone is very proud of this community. Everybody wants to keep business local if they can, so that’s how we came up with the name. But everything is the same. Same owners. Same services. The only difference is the name.”
Although the new name highlights their bread and butter, there are plenty of services they offer that didn’t end up on the marquee. Of course, there are the mailboxes that can be rented for three months or longer, and with their location right in the middle of town, they’ve been the natural choice for a lot of Lake Forest and Lake Bluff businesses, associations, and philanthropic organizations to get their mail. Many people simply rent a box for the extended periods they’re out of town, then Lake Forest Pack and Ship forwards their mail to them. They’ll even separate the items you mark as high priority and forward only those, or if you need a something right away, let them know and they’ll overnight it to you. Unlike most post offices, they also offer 24-hour access; with the key to your personal mailbox comes a key to the front door, so you can get your mail when it’s most convenient for you.
They’re also the only place in town to get copies 24 hours a day. Although anyone can walk in off the street and get a copy for 10 cents, those who choose can pre-pay for a copy code and get copies for a nickel a piece. As an added benefit, all you have to do is type your personal code into the machine day or night and the copiers keep track of the number of copies you have automatically. “Some people go through 1,000 copies in two weeks, for some it takes two years,” says Ray Rogalsky, who’s been with Lake Forest Pack and Ship for more than 15 years. “A lot of organizations use it: Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, the Garden Club, all those kind of things. There are five or 10 people from the organization that come in and they all have the code. It’s just easier.”
In recent years, however, the needs of their loyal customer base expanded and Lake Forest Pack and Ship was quick to meet those needs. They introduced a computer station for people needing printouts of their emails or from flash drives. They’ve also had more people coming in to take advantage of their assistance in scanning documents for email attachments.
Although they’ve offered the service for years already, they’ve also seen a rapid increase in customers shipping their luggage ahead to their vacation destinations since airlines have begun charging fees for checking bags. Whether it’s skis, golf clubs, or simply a suitcase or three, people have been discovering how much easier traveling can be. “It’s about the same price as an airline charges, believe it or not, and you don’t have to schlep it through the airport,” Michael says. “When you get there, it’s just waiting for you in your hotel room.”
With the same great services and staff they’ve had since the beginning, plus the new conveniences they’ve incorporated over the years, it doesn’t matter what they’re called; let’s hope Lake Forest Pack and Ship has another 20 years ahead of them.
Lake Forest Pack and Ship is located at 736 N. Western Ave in Lake Forest. For more information, call 847-615-0222.