‘Coffee gets cold quick around our office’

Lori Barnes and Melinda Cordell, owners of Greencastle Notary Service

By Mike Lewis
mlewis@crossroadsbizjournal.com

Coffee Break

Lori Barnes and Melinda Cordell own and operate Greencastle Notary Service in Greencastle, Pa.

The little storefront almost closed before it got started. Barnes said they were planning to open more than a decade ago in a building across the street. The landlord had “made everything beautiful,” and had asked the duo to move their items out of the space so the floors could be refinished before they opened.

“The place burned down that night,” she recalled. “The next day, we rented this space.”

And they’ve been at 38 E. Baltimore St. in Greencastle ever since. The business has grown to a staff of 10, including the two co-owners.

Much of their business involves handling paperwork for vehicle titles, tags and registrations. And that’s not just for Pennsylvania and Maryland residents, she said, but also for residents from across Pennsylvania who buy vehicles in other states.

“Probably 80 percent of our business is people buying out of state. … We mail everything to them. They don’t have to come to our office,” Cordell said.

In addition, Barnes said, the office handles other paperwork, from mortgages to wills, that require notary chores.

Much of their work centers on titles and license tags for vehicles, and both have seen their share of paperwork. Each of the co-owners has more than two decades of experience in the field, and office manager Noelle Ott has been with the business since it opened.

For this version of Coffee Break, they answered some questions together and others individually.

On a break, is it coffee, tea, soda, water … ?

Cordell: Coffee.

Barnes: Coffee and water.

An average day for you includes … ?

An average day at the notary is always a busy one with serving customers, solving problems and tackling mountains of paperwork. Coffee gets cold quick around our office.

What got you interested in this business, and how did Greencastle Notary get started?

“One night I looked at Melinda and said, ‘Let’s open a title and tag business in Greencastle,’ and before I could say ‘just kidding,’ Melinda replied with a quick ‘OK,’” Barnes said. “And the next day, we rented our first office space. Opening day for us was April Fools Day, 2006.”

What do you wish people knew about what you do?

We are independently owned and care about your experience with us. We are here to serve you and make your selling/buying vehicles experience easy and sometimes fun. We care about our customers. We provide notary services, along with all Pennsylvania and Maryland tag and title work needs.

Outside of work, what are your ambitions and aspirations?

“My family is my world,” Cordell said. “When I’m not at work, I am spending all the time I can with them.”

“Outside of work, I put most of my time into raising my daughter and two poodles alongside my adventurous husband,” Barnes said. “When I retire, I plan to head south and work at SeaWorld.”

Want to share a cup of coffee with our readers? Send an email to face time@crossroadsbizjournal.com or call reporter Mike Lewis at 301-791-7482.