The entrepreneurial landscape in the Town of Pictou is changing in 2018.
At least four new businesses are expected to open this year in the Shiretown focusing on fresh baked goods, sweet treats, organic products and growing new business.
Andrew Loscher and Louise Dixon, owners of Media Ladder, which recently moved into the Old Foundry, completed the purchase of the former Pictou Seaside Marketplace, to be housed in the Caledonia Curling Club.
For many years, the Pictou County Weekend Market operated at the curling club during the summer months, but Loscher and Dixon bought the rights to it and are now looking at making changes.
“Last year we looked into it and we thought, wow, it would be really great to be involved in it,” said Loscher, adding that they had considered keeping some of the current features, but decided their vision for the marketplace was very different from what was taking place.
Loscher said a market would still be held on the weekends, but more with an entrepreneurial focus that allows people to purchase goods such as fresh vegetables and local products that fill a need for local residents and tourists.
Throughout the week, the venue would be used as rental space that would be available for entertainment and catering by local businesses.
“We would be using the venue more like a partnership,” said Loscher. “Let’s say we find a fiddler and we put together a show and go to local restaurants to cater. This allows entrepreneurism at the venue in the summer as much as possible and will hopefully inspire others who want to take it a bit further.”
He said there is an opportunity for businesses to have two locations in the county: a smaller setup in the marketplace that showcases their goods and products also sold at another permanent spot.
The couple would also like to provide rental space for entrepreneurs who want to promote their own businesses or services such as bike or boat rentals as well as walking tours.
“Because we are marketing company, we will do all of the marketing for the venue,” she said. “We need to the get word out as much as possible so people will flock to Pictou and it won’t just be a stopover on the way to P.E.I.”
They expect the new marketplace to be open mid-June to mid-September.
Meanwhile a River John woman is planning on opening the Water Street Market and Bakery in May in the former Pressroom pub.
Sonja Park, with the assistance of her mother Rhonda, plan on opening the Water Street Market as one that features crafts, vegetables, consignment crafts and other local products as well as having an onsite bakery.
“Every batch is being made from scratch,” Rhonda said, adding the bakery will also be offering homemade soups and sandwiches.
The mother and daughter duo have worked at the Pictou County Weekend Market for the past nine years and are now ready to make the move to owning their own business.
- Water Street Market will be open Thursday to Sunday from May until December.
The Purple Rooster Café and Bakery has also opened at 31 Front St., Pictou, this January featuring breads and fresh baked goods with plans to start serving soups and sandwiches this coming week.
Owner Amy Butts of Lyons Brook said baking has always been hobby, but after much encouragement from friends and family she decided to turn her passion into her own business.
“It has been wonderful,” she said since opening this past week. “We have over 300 people following us on Facebook the last couple of days and we are starting to see regulars coming in.”
The Purple Rooster Café and Bakery will be open Tuesday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
“We have been looking at doing this for 20 years,” she said. “We did something similar to this on the west coast and we are very excited.”
Lastly, anyone looking for other sweet treats can try Cherry on Top in the same building which will specialize in cones, shakes and sundaes. It is expected to open in April.
Pictou town council could soon be ready to make an announcement about a new business near the entrance of the Shiretown.
Pictou Mayor Jim Ryan said during a recent committee of the whole meeting that the town is continuing to review requests for proposals in regard to interest in land around the new roundabout.
“We are still looking at the rotary proposals,” said Ryan a day after the committee meeting. “We have to talk about a few things before the go-public. We are hoping for an announcement within the next month.”
During a November council meeting, the mayor announced that some serious offers were put forward on lots A and B at the roundabout and council is reviewing the proposals to determine what is best for the town.
The lots around the new roundabout have been zoned highway commercial by the town.