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Nigerian Man and Son are Behind the First Family Black-Owned UPS Store in Western New York

Dr. Uzo Ihenko and Kelechi Chillis-Ihenko, father and son, own the first family-owned UPS business in Western New York. The company, which is located at 345 Broadway, has become a hub for many people in the neighborhood.

“It’s an asset,” Raquel Gibson, a resident, told WKBY. “We don’t have to go far, it’s needed. I’m glad that we have this business and it’s awesome. I’m hoping that it brings more businesses like this here because they’re needed.”

When Chillis-Ihenko, a graduate with an MBA, wanted to stay in Buffalo to help serve his community, Uzo Ihenko and Kelechi Chillis-Ihenko founded the shipping and delivery shop.

“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,” said the son.

Uzo Ihenko, for one, stated that his family’s business is truly beneficial to the community. “People are seeing the future in their life and other business will copy and then other jobs will come,” he went on to say.

Uzo Ihenko and his son’s UPS location performs fingerprinting services aside from shipping, delivery, and printing papers. “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 Ihenko said.

In the near future, he revealed that the back of the UPS store will become apartments. According to him, it is going to be affordable apartments targeting people who live in Western New York.

“It’s going to be workforce apartments so it’s affordable for people to live here,” said Chillis-Ihenko. “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.”

Meanwhile, Chillis-Ihenko stated that the key to their success is putting people first. “If you’re not people first the people aren’t going to support you,” he told the crowd. “So you want to have anything you do be people-focused so that will help you be successful in business.”

Uzo Ihenko indicated that the family intends to stay on Broadway for future generations. He mentioned how the family has become an important part of the community.

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