Debby Gagnon has been packing, wrapping and posting for nearly a quarter of a century. It was 24 years ago this month that she opened the community’s local post office, Pack, Wrap and Post. Her business is one of few businesses in the Canyon Lake that have survived for the long haul.
Debby and her family relocated from Redondo Beach to Canyon Lake in December 1986. The family owned an independent insurance adjusting firm, which they were able to relocate to their home in Canyon Lake and eventually to a space in the Towne Center.
A business called Mail World was located next door to their office. When the owner decided to close the business, he asked Debby if she would be interested in taking over his 12 mailboxes. She agreed.
At first, it was just a side business, with the insurance adjusting business and later construction being the family’s main sources of income. “Since I never intended to open up a mailing business, I was basically flying by the seat of my pants and learning on the way,” said Debby. She incorporated the mailboxes into a hobby business she had of wrapping and mailing gift packages. That business was called Pack, Wrap and Post.
Pack, Wrap and Post became an official United States Contract Postal Unit in June 1995. Today, Pack, Wrap and Post offers mailbox rental, certified and international mail services, registered mail, stamps and services such as notary, FAX, document scanning, copies and packing and shipping supplies.
Debby said she loves everything there is to love about being a small businesses owner. She also loves Canyon Lake.
“Part of why I fell in love with Canyon Lake is because we are Small Town USA,” Debby said. “You can get involved in this community and, if you want to put in the time, you can make a difference.”
And that is what Debby has done – as a resident, as a business owner and as an organizer of numerous community events. She is the recipient of both Business of the Year and Volunteer of the Year awards.
Debby has been active in the Canyon Lake Chamber of Commerce for more than 24 years. “I jumped on the Chamber bandwagon and never looked back,” she said. “It has always been about promoting local businesses and giving back to the community – two things very near and dear to me.”
As a member of the Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors Debby helps to organize the Parade of Frights and the Oktoberfest. Prior to the city taking over the Towne Center Tree Lighting, Debby had organized the event for many years.
When Debby learned that the city wanted to create a monument to honor veterans, she threw herself whole-heartedly into the Veterans Day Committee. The monument was unveiled during a special Veterans Day ceremony on November 11, 2011.
“It is amazing to think that the Veterans Day Committee, with its incredible leadership, was able to not only erect a fabulous monument, but change a little grassy area into a memorial park,” Debby said. “That’s pretty awesome stuff.
Debby is still an active member of Veterans Day Committee, helping to organize Canyon Lake’s annual Veterans Day celebration.
In 2013, Debby took on a project for the city helping to organize a Military Banner Program. In 2014, 11 banners featuring the photos of local military members and veterans were installed on poles in the Towne Center and on Railroad Canyon Road.
Debby has volunteered countless hours through her involvement with the Fiesta Day Committee and Jr. Women’s Club.
Pack, Wrap and Post has come along way since Debby agreed to take over those 12 mailboxes from Mail World, and Canyon Lake is a better place because of her involvement in the community.