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Couple finds prime opportunity in Pictou County for hearing-related service

Husband and wife Erik Nissan and Beth Wild have started a new business – Community Hearing – located on East River Road in New Glasgow.
Husband and wife Erik Nissan and Beth Wild have started a new business – Community Hearing – located on East River Road in New Glasgow.

NEW GLASGOW – Beth Wild had visited Pictou County many times as part of her job working for a hearing aid manufacturer, and said each time she enjoyed the friendliness of the people and the beauty of the area.

So when she and her husband Erik Nissan began their family, they decided they wanted to leave the big city life of Toronto behind, and looked to Nova Scotia.

“We wanted to go somewhere where we had more time with (their son),” said Wild.

“We were looking for a smaller community. We wanted a place where we would feel comfortable raising Jacob,” said Nissan.

The young family came to the area two years ago, with Nissan managing the eastern territory for the hearing aid manufacturer that they both worked for. They said Pictou County was the perfect location because of its proximity to Halifax and the international airport, which was important for his job.

But lurking in their thoughts was the idea to start their own business.

“I always wanted to have my own clinic,” said Wild, a board certified hearing instrument specialist with seven years of experience.

This was something they weren’t able to do in Toronto because of “astronomical” rents and the large number of competitors, she said.

“The plan was always in the back of our minds to own our own business,” said Nissan, who has worked in the industry for 10 years.

In early August, they took the leap and opened Community Hearing, which offers a variety of services from a full, comprehensive – and free – hearing test and ear wax removal to hearing aid sales and service. They also provide hearing protection, and can make custom earplugs for hunters or people who work with noisy machinery.

The independent, family owned and operated business serves people over the age of 18, and Nissan said eventually they would like to add to their staff of two.

He said from a business standpoint, the aging demographics of the area make it a good fit for their hearing clinic.

“So our hope is that as our population ages, the need for services that cater to seniors will also grow. Although, we definitely encourage people to start thinking about their hearing health well before the age of 65.”

He said any adults who have difficulty understanding others in social settings such as restaurants, should undergo a hearing test. “Especially people who work in noisy situations, they should be tested regularly and they should be obviously using protection.”

They suggest having a hearing test every couple of years, similar to recommendations for eye tests.

While there are things Nissan and Wild miss about city living, including being close to family, they’re enjoying establishing roots in Pictou County. “For us, it’s really – in terms of quality of life – it all boils down to time. And we’ve just had so much more time with Jacob in the last two years, I don’t think we would have traded that,” said Nissan, referring to long commutes associated with living in Toronto.

Community Hearing will hold its grand opening on Sept. 18 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. with promotions and giveways.

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