WATSONVILLE — The East Lake Village shopping center has seen a revival in the past few years. New businesses have gradually settled into the center, such as Coffeeville and Fruition Brewing, which opens this weekend. Santa Cruz-based grocery market Staff of Life plans to move in early next year.
With all the new activity, a dependable packing and shipping center being included in the lineup seemed obvious to Central Coast Pack and Ship owner Lillian Liberatore-Ryan, who opened the business late last year.
Liberatore-Ryan said they have gradually been getting more customers, mostly through word-of-mouth.
“We want to reach out and let the community know we’re here,” she said.
The business began at nearby Central Coast Screen Printing and Embroidery, which arrived at East Lake Village in 2017. Founders Fernando Marquez and Liberatore-Ryan’s son, Brian Peixoto opened it as a combination business, offering screen printing and embroidery along with a packing/shipping service.
But last year, Peixoto made the decision to separate the two, and approached his mother about starting her own business for packing and shipping.
“He realized he wanted to focus on screen printing,” Liberatore-Ryan said. “So he asked me if I wanted to take the other part over. I was stunned at first. But then I told myself, ‘Just go for it!’”
Central Coast Pack and Ship is a FedEx Authorized Ship Center, and also offers pick-ups for DHL and UPS (UPS packages are required to be pre-labeled). It is also a full-service post office, and sells boxes and other packing materials. Certain envelopes are complimentary to customers.
Employee Francisco Lopez said that friendly, fast customer service is their top priority.
“We want it to be a comfortable place for people to come into,” Lopez said. “We’re a small business, so the kind of thing is important.”
Shops in the East Lake Village center are already utilizing Central Coast Pack and Ship, but Liberatore-Ryan wants residents from the surrounding neighborhoods to know about their services as well.
“You don’t have to drive across town or even to Capitola to ship something,” she said. “We’re right here.”
Central Coast Pack & Ship is located at 1052 E. Lake Ave. in the East Lake Village Shopping Center, next door to Ace Hardware. It is open Monday-Friday 9 a.m.-6 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m.-2 p.m. For information visit ccpackandship.com or call 536-5488.