SHUBENACADIE: At a time when the words now or never are regularly heard or read in the media and the province’s Ivany report is calling for a 50 per cent increase in business start-ups, it is a welcome sight when a new business opens in rural Nova Scotia.
Owners John MacIntyre and Andrew Buffett recently transformed a long-standing drugstore into two retail spaces. They made room for their new Shubenacadie Trading Post on the main street of this farming village. The pair are part of the ownership group Associated Maritime Pharmacies who have been in the pharmacy business in both Nova Scotia and New Brunswick for decades.
Business closures are becoming common in Nova Scotia, especially in rural parts of the province. So it’s a bit of a novelty to see people from a small village buzzing about a new store.
“The reaction we have been getting is overwhelming, there has been nothing but positive feedback,” says local resident and manager Debbie Sexsmith. “People from the community are very excited. The first day we opened, a local lady came in and bought a jacket saying normally, she would have to go to Halifax or Dartmouth for this.”
The Shubie Trading Post is serving outdoor enthusiasts, tourists and the local community with seasonal apparel and footwear, camping and hiking supplies and well-known brands.
It is a natural fit for this community with a rich heritage in farming, the well-known Shubenacadie River and neighbouring Sipekne’katik First Nation.
The new store hosted a grand opening with sales on well-recognized brands, contests, product demonstrations and fun activities on Aug. 20. The local Lions Club offered a barbecue with proceeds going to their projects.
Shubenacadie’s landscape, natural surroundings and wildlife provide a source of livelihood and enjoyment for the rural dwellers. And lately, more weekend explorers from the city have been venturing there as well. Motor heads come to the nearby Atlantic Motorsport Park as well as hikers, kayakers and a rising number of tourists try out nature’s rollercoaster ride, otherwise known as tidal bore rafting. The Shubenacadie Wildlife Park is always a draw for families and lately, Pokémon Go’ers have been busy searching for the more than 20 stops in around the Park and village.
Locals and visitors alike enjoy the new cafe´ with trendy, organic coffee from Lunenburg and ice cream that a local dairy farmer most likely had a hand in producing. The Trading Post supports Maritime artisans and crafters by providing a convenient location for handmade trinkets, treasures, lotions and potions.
“As pharmacy retailers, we are charting some new territory here, ” says Buffett. “It’s been a lot of hard work getting things up and running and we tried to engage the staff as well as neighbouring businesses and Sipekne’katik in our planning and product offerings. It’s been satisfying to see the local community embrace the Shubie Trading Post and we hope to grow that excitement beyond the area.”