A father-and-son duo in Buffalo, New York has opened the first Black family-owned UPS store in the region.

Dr. Uzo Ihenko and his son, Kelechi Chillis-Ihenko, opened the store earlier in October. Prior to their UPS opening, many East Buffalo residents had to travel far for services like shipping, printing and packaging.

“Our vision for the store is just making this a centerpiece for the community. You know…there’s not a lot of places like this around here so people have to travel way out there, way out of the community so we want to bring people back,” Kelechi said in an interview with WGRZ.

Kelechi, who grew up in Buffalo and graduated with an MBA, made the conscious decision to stay in his hometown and serve his community.

“Growing up in Buffalo there’s always a lack of essential services and things like that and I’ve experienced that growing up so being the one to fill that need is awesome,” Kelechi told WKBW.

“I wanted to be able to show the community the hard work and effort of what we’ve been doing,” Uzo told WGRZ. “And in order to do that you got to show some practical improvements.”

The new UPS location offers shipping, delivery, printing and fingerprinting services.

“A lot of hospitals they send people here for fingerprinting so if you want to do any investigative work in terms of background information right here is where it’s done,” Uzo said in an interview with WKBW.

Local vendors can also sell their own products at the store. Additionally, business owners can rent office space in the building. In the back part of the building, the father and son plan to have apartments for rent.

“It’s going to be workforce apartments so it’s affordable for people to live here,” Kelechi said to WKBW. “And we’re going to have office space and potentially a coworking space for other entrepreneurs to come to the building and grow their businesses.”

The key to a successful business, according to the father-and-son duo, is to “put people first.”

“If you’re not people first the people aren’t going to support you,” Kelechi said. “So you want to have anything you do be people-focused so that will help you be successful in business.”

They hope to keep the business going for the coming generations.

“I told them we’re here to stay,” Uzo said. “We’re part of you and we’re here.”