St. Johns Center For Opportunity is focused on elevating our small business community, along with community engagement, workforce development and housing advocacy. As our neighborhood businesses grow and change, we want to highlight both the new and established businesses that make up our community. Twice a month, we’ll be highlighting the stories of business owners in the community. Are you a business owner that would like to be interviewed? Do you want to hear the story of a particular business in St. Johns? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Since March 29, 1989, Kenn has been behind the counter at Peninsula Station in downtown St. Johns. Located in the old Kasper Insurance Agency building at 8316 N. Lombard, Peninsula Station serves as a hub for shipping and mailing services in the community.
Kenn’s roots in St. Johns go back to his great grandfather who stopped in St. Johns in 1910, to work for a mill in the neighborhood before settling in the Banks-Vernonia area. He continues to share the history of St. Johns through the display of historical photos in his shop, as well as his willingness to share memories and history of the neighborhood with his customers.
So, what exactly IS Peninsula Station? Step inside and you’ll see PMBs (private mail boxes), shipping and packaging materials, a copy machine, a carousel of postcards, historic St. Johns photos on the walls and plenty of quirky memorabilia. As Kenn describes it, the business is modeled after Mailboxes Etc. and was one of the first mail receiving agencies in the area. This means that you get your mail delivered directly to Peninsula Station if you rent a PMB from Kenn.
You can do much more than just pick up your mail at Peninsula Station. You can do your shipping and faxing, make copies, buy postcards, get passport photos taken, and get a lot of random questions answered! Kenn describes himself as an information broker for the St. Johns neighborhood and he’s always happy to help a customer who has reached an impass with some problem or is just curious to learn more about the neighborhood.
Some things you might not know about Peninsula Station are that over the years, Kenn has developed a reputation among artists as a top notch packaging and shipping service for their fine art prints. Kenn once foiled a $1.4 million multi-state crime ring that had a PMB in his store because he had a hunch that something fishy was going on with this particular customer. When Kenn isn’t at the store, he’s an avid soccer player and coach in both indoor and outdoor leagues.
If you haven’t been in to Peninsula Station, go check it out and meet Kenn. You’ll also meet Sherri, a longtime employee of Peninsula Station for over 20 years! Keep an eye out for a collection of photos created by Louisa, a long time St. Johns resident and customer, who has been bringing Kenn hand-collaged photo series of herself in a variety of hilarious scenarios: being hugged by a grizzly bear, carried away by birds and more. They’re on display around the frame of Window #1. You don’t want to miss them!