2016 Rhode Island Minority-Owned Small Business of the Year

shippingpostalGreat Shipping and Postal

Owners Henry Osorio and Maria Teresa Ochoa

17 years ago Henry Osorio, Maria Teresa Ochoa and their two sons Mauricio and Julian emigrated from Columbia to America. Upon arrival Henry began working for Citizen’s Bank and continued to do so until he and his wife noticed a need within their community. The need was affordable international shipping and Henry and Maria Teresa were happy to answer that need.

Henry and Maria began researching the process and became aware of business classes offered by the Center for Women in Enterprise (CWE). With the help of the CWE, the guidance of Councilwoman Sandra Cano, and uncountable hours of hard work, Henry and Maria were able to open Great Shipping and Postal LLC in 2012.

The doors opening was just the beginning for this couple as owning their business brought more challenges including licenses, permits, regulation, taxations, and many months of process. One by one they achieved these steps, learning the codes and process of this new system, fulfilling the requirements put before them.

Great Shipping and Postal isn’t strictly a business for Henry and Maria Teresa it is a place for the community. Finally there was a way to ship goods back to loved ones that was made easy for the consumer. The challenges of meeting all of the federal demands on shipping were streamlined by Henry and Maria Teresa, making the process simple for their customers. Finally the distance between America and Latin America wasn’t thousands of miles but simply up the block. Tucked in right on the corner of 817 Dexter Street is a place that is dedicated to getting what you want, where you want it to be, and making it as easy on you as possible.

Their community is thankful but Henry is as well, “I’m grateful to God who gives me strength every day.” Maria Teresa is also grateful and weighed in on how she believes they had come to be successful, “Great service is not a cliché, it’s a need, we provide great service and we take pride in spoiling our clients.” That sentiment couldn’t be any truer as everyone who enters the business is welcome to a free cup of coffee, sharing a Columbian brew that fills up everyone’s cup with a sweet taste of Henry and Maria’s home.

Little things like the coffee help display the passion that both Henry and Maria Teresa bring to their business. This passion feeds the business but it is their pride that ensures that Great Shipping and Postal is a success. They are adamant that if they tell you your package will be somewhere by a certain day than by their word it most assuredly will. This dedication has almost single handedly grown the business, which started strictly in shipping to include money transfer, mailbox service, truck rental, storage and more. When asked about the growth of the business Maria Teresa elaborated, “Yes we started in shipping but we’ve become a multi-source destination to meet what the community needs.” Has it been easy? No, but Henry and Maria Teresa work as hard today as they did the day the doors opened so that their customers don’t have to.

For their demonstrated success and potential for continued growth, the U.S. Small Business Administration pleased to honor Henry Osorio and Maria Teresa Ochoa, owners of Great Shipping and Postal as the 2016 Rhode Island Minority-Owned Small Business of the Year.

Leave a comment

Avatar About the Author: The Rhode Island Small Business Journal is a printed monthly magazine and an online resource for the aspiring and start-up entrepreneur and small business owner.

previous arrow
next arrow