ST. PETER’S: Although it appeared a Christmas tradition had come to an end, a well-known business has received a new lease on life thanks to a local entrepreneur.
St. Peter’s native Dillon Carter grew up visiting the Glad Tidings Christmas Shoppe every year. After hearing the store would be closing its doors following the 2016 Christmas season, he made the decision to take over the business, and celebrated its 25th anniversary on November 12.
“I had seven ladies from Glace Bay that all gave me a hug and said thanks for saving the Christmas Shoppe. It was their favourite store,” said Carter, who re-opened the shop in the same location where he runs his other business, Diddle’s Cafe and Bakery.
“I knew I’d made the right decision then. It was good to keep the tradition alive.”
Glad Tidings was originally founded by Marion Macleod as an annual Christmas display in the St. Peter’s pharmacy she ran with her husband.
“She always loved Christmas. It was one of her favourite things,” said Carter. “Every Christmas, she would turn the seasonal department into a big, massive Christmas area.”
When MacLeod and her husband built a new home, she converted the garage into her own stand-alone Christmas shop. The shop soon outgrew the garage to fill three rooms in the home. Carter said that her unique inventory made the store a fixture in the community.
“She would outsource product that no one else had,” said Carter. “And because of that, her clientele would come from everywhere, the States, Toronto, Edmonton, you name it.”
Last year, MacLeod decided to retire and put her shop and home up for sale. Carter, who has been running Diddles Cafe and Bakery for two years, knew that the closure would impact the community.
“It was a tourist destination. People came to the area to go to that shop and nothing else, but when they were here, they would see little shops, and a cafe and little restaurants. So they would spend more money in the village which helped everybody,” said Carter.
Early in 2017, Carter made the decision to take over the shop. In May, Glad Tidings was reopened in its new location without missing a season.
“It was a lot of work,” said Carter. “But I had a good support system. My staff was great. They were just so excited to see the business grow, which meant a longer season for them to work as well.”