Estate agent couple set to put own stamp on Dagenham post office

Oluwatosin and Kayode John are taking over the post office branch in Whalebone Lane South next month

Oluwatosin and Kayode John are taking over the post office branch in Whalebone Lane South next month.

An entrepreneurial couple are taking over a post office branch in a few weeks’ time.

Oluwatosin and Kayode John decided to branch out from their usual line of work as estate agents when they found out the owners of the nearby Becontree Heath Post Office were retiring.

After putting in a successful bid on the Whalebone Lane South store, they are raring to go.

“We are really excited about it,” admitted mum-of-three Oluwatosin, 35, who will run the branch herself after gaining considerable retail experience while working at Tesco.

“We are providing a lot of services and it’ll be great to get to know the community too. It’s been really interesting to find out what all the services are – to be part of that is a privilege.”

Meanwhile Kayode, 38, will continue to work at the neighbouring Wiloth estate agents, which the couple ran in Camden before relocating four years ago.

“We are entrepreneurs as well as estate agents,” explained Kayode, who also plans to open a second branch of Wiloth in Canning Town before the end of the year.

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First though, the Rainham residents will focus on running their latest business. It will close for a fortnight from Saturday ahead of an overhaul which is part of a nationwide scheme to modernise post office branches.

The refurbished store will be open on Sundays and employ up to three staff members, and the couple say the open-plan layout will also make it “more like a convenience store”.

Kayode added: “It’s more of a retail supermarket – we’ve been thinking of opening a supermarket for a long time.”

Oluwatosin said they were both positive about the new model.

“We really want to be part of it – reports show that the customers welcome the change,” she said.

“It’s a good challenge – that’s why we took it up.”

The post office will close at 12.30pm on Saturday and reopen at 1pm on November 14. The new opening hours will be 8am-8pm Mondays to Saturdays and 10am–6pm on Sundays.