Our spotlight shines this week on Brady Mahaney, owner of Express Center. A one-stop-shop for dozens of business products and services, Express Center is a vital partner to many in Golden Hill. What’s more, Mahaney is on a mission to mentor and guide the next generation of entrepreneurs and help grow the number of small businesses in our community.

Brady Mahaney, owner of Express Center

“Don’t be afraid to fail. Be prepared to fail often, but fail forward. Learn from your mistakes.”

Brady Mahaney

As a child Mahaney was asked what he wanted to be when he grew up. In grade school he answered, “stuntman”. In junior high he answered, “photographer”. But it was in a high school economics class that Mahaney would have a revelation. His teacher had surveyed the room on career goals and received the typical teenage answers. “My teacher then addressed the class lamenting that none of us expressed a desire to be an entrepreneur,” recounted Mahaney. “That was the first time the concept of starting my own business was introduced to me. And from that day on, I always thought about owning my own business.”

While the spark of entrepreneurial spirit had been lit within Mahaney, it would be several years before he struck out on his own. He worked in restaurants and as a photojournalist during his late teens and early-20s; ultimately joining the Navy at 23. His assignment was in the Supply Department, running the shipping office on an aircraft carrier.

Mahaney found satisfaction in his role and appreciated the learning opportunity it presented. “I started focusing on jobs dealing with logistics and operations management,” says Mahaney.  “I worked my way up from warehouse worker, to Warehouse Manager, Fulfillment Manager, Operations Manager, and finally Director of Logistics.” As Mahaney progressed he used his proximity to business owners to seek advice about his own desire as an entrepreneur.

Express Center is located in the historic Caroline/Welton Apartments

In 2009 it was announced that the Golden Hill Post Office would be closing. The USPS facility, dubbed George Washington Station, was located at the corner of C and 26th Street. Having served Golden Hill since the 1960s, the loss of a post office became Mahaney’s opportunity. Using his experience in shipping and logistics, Mahaney drafted a business plan and set to work. The result would be Express Center, a full-service postal center with mailbox rentals, notary services, overnight shipping, mailing and parcel services.

“Golden Hill is a great neighborhood for a business like Express Center,” Mahaney explains. “The store works well with the walkability of the neighborhood as we are able to provide neighborhood conveniences that customers would otherwise have to drive for.”

Located at 2801 B Street in the historic Caroline/Welton apartment building, Express Center plays a vital role in the Golden Hill community. For small businesses, Express Center is a partner in every sense of the word. Mahaney and his team offer the necessities of business operations without the extreme overhead of a traditional office. This way a budding entrepreneur can send and receive mail, print important documents, and scale their business without a lot of start-up capital.

Express Center provides mailbox rentals, notary services, overnight shipping, mailing and parcel services.

But it is not just Mahaney’s business model that helps young business owners. Express Center has a paid internship program for people interested in learning about shipping, e-commerce, and small business management. Mahaney has also dedicated a lot of personal time to helping the next generation. “I am currently working on developing a Golden Hill Business Group,” he says. “I hope that it can foster a ‘Young Entrepreneurs Club’ that could produce neighborhood events and spur the next wave of small businesses in the neighborhood.”

Mahaney’s commitment to helping the next generation is rooted in his own success. He discussed how he was mentored and the value that provided him. “The US Small Business Administration has a great resource called SCORE, Service Core of Retired Executives,” says Mahaney. SCORE mentors, he explained, offer area-specific advice at no cost (financing, human resources, business planning) via email, telephone and video. “I can’t recommend their classes enough. Especially the ones about how to write a business plan.” 

Having received a lot of sage advice over the years, I asked Mahaney if he had anything to share with young entrepreneurs. “Define the ‘pain’ that you are trying to solve with your business as accurately as possible. Don’t be afraid to fail. Be prepared to fail often, but fail forward. Learn from your mistakes. Try to find a mentor who you can learn from.”

Express Center is located at 2801 B Street. They are open Monday – Friday: 9am – 6pm, Saturday: 10am – 2pm. You can reach them at (619) 546-0640, via fax (619) 546-0642, and by email Check them out online at or on Instagram @expresscenter.goldenhill

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