News Release Archive

Pine Tree Road Side Market in Thorburn, Pictou County, is proof
that every cloud really can have a silver lining. Owner Donna
Latter wasted no time in contacting the Nova Scotia Economic
Renewal Agency when husband Mike lost his job last May. 

Within three to four days, she had drawn up a business plan with
the help of a friend and within three to four months the couple
had ventured into the small business world.

"We bought the property nine years ago and always wanted to do
something with it, but never had the time," Mrs. Latter
recalled. Initial research indicated a need for a convenience
store in the area and a First Step Loan provided the Latters with
fixtures and working capital for their new venture. 

Although unfamiliar with setting up a small business, the Latters
learned quickly. "I found it very foreign at first when we opened
up, but it's not really that hard at all," said Mrs. Latter.

The key to Pine Tree Road Side Market's success is diversity and
close links with the local community. The convenience store will
be augmented by a farmer's market in the summer, featuring fresh
fruit and vegetables supplied by local farmers and market

During the holiday season, it is backed by the sale of locally
grown Christmas trees, which adorn the veranda outside. Inside,
more local produce is available in the form of crafts, some of
them made by Mrs. Latter.

In return, the local community supports the store. "The support
of the community is unbelievable. Everyone has said the store was
needed," said Mrs. Latter. "It's good to meet people you only
know by sight after several years," she added. 

The community spirit found at Pine Tree Road Side Market
certainly works. New customers continue to visit the store
besides the regular locals. Mrs. Latter said she had seen at
least 15 new faces in the first week of December. 

"Since the first two weeks, we have either met or surpassed our
business plan sales. The business is paying its bills and
re-stocking inventory, which is as much as we can expect in the
first year," she added.If the store continues to do well, Mrs.
Latter anticipates hiring part-time help in the summer. Future
plans also include expanding the building to include a separate
section for crafts, possibly as early as this spring.

"Pine Tree Road Side Market shows the Community Business Loan
Program works. It can help create jobs and provide essential
services," Economic Renewal Minister Ross Bragg.

Built with a spirit of co-operation and community, Pine Tree Road
Side Market has helped the Latters turn a difficult situation
into an advantageous one, both for themselves and the people of
lm                                January 19, 1995