The ribbon cutting honours went to Joe Shannon and the manager of the Auld’s Cove Big Stop, Arnold Hurley. The grand re-opening took place 35 years to the day when the first Irving Big Stop opened in Auld’s Cove.

AULD’S COVE: Thirty-five years to the day that Irving Oil opened its first Big Stop, the Irving family, invited guests and residents celebrated an official re-opening.

On August 17, Irving Oil hosted a grand re-opening celebration at the Auld’s Cove Big Stop.

“Today is an exciting one as we celebrate the grand reopening of our very first Big Stop location at Auld’s Cove,” says Sarah Irving, executive vice-president and chief brand officer for Irving Oil. “We appreciate the loyalty of our customers over many years and are so proud to be here today to celebrate and have an opportunity to say thank you for the business.”

Photos by Mary Hankey — At the grand re-opening of the Auld’s Cove Big Stop on August 17, chairman of Irving Oil, Arthur Irving thanked the people of the area for their loyal business over the years. Also on hand to celebrate was Darren Gillis, chief marketing officer and Sarah Irving, executive vice-president and chief brand officer for Irving Oil.

First opened on August 17, 1984, Auld’s Cove was the first ever Big Stop for Irving Oil.

“We’re looking forward to marking this milestone with the community in Auld’s Cove and celebrating the official reopening of one of our most historic sites,” says Darren Gillis, chief marketing officer for Irving Oil.

Sandra Irving was dancing to the music of The Barra MacNeils at the grand re-opening of the Auld’s Cove Big Stop on August 17. With her was her daughter, Sarah Irving, executive vice-president and chief brand officer for Irving Oil.

The project transformed the Big Stop to meet customer needs – including expanded fueling lanes and professional driver amenities, a dog park, and a larger restaurant including a full service menu offering long-time favourites such as fish and chips and chocolate cake with boiled icing. Among the amenities now offered to professional drivers is a driver’s lounge with comfortable furniture, WiFi, as well as hotel caliber showers and restrooms.

It was messy business eating blueberry pie without using forks or hands for the pie-eating contest at the Auld’s Cove Big Stop celebrations. After four minutes of eating, Thane Hurley was declared the victor.

Construction on the new facility started last September and it also included expanding the restaurant, as well as the planned addition of a 3,800 square foot Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation outlet on site.

The Grant School of Highland Dance from Antigonish performed to an enthusiastic audience at the grand re-opening of the Auld’s Cove Big Stop last weekend.

The former structure in Auld’s Cove was demolished to make room for the newer, bigger location but Irving promised minimal disruption for employees and customers. At the time, Irving Oil sent out an advisory notice to all of their customers advising them of other Irving locations where could meet their fueling needs during the construction process.

The Barra MacNeils had the audience on its feet for their grand finale at the Auld’s Cove Big Stop grand re-opening on August 17.

The restaurant, driver amenities, and the Irving 24 truck parking lanes were not available for the duration of the construction, and the diesel card lock re-opened last November. The convenience store re-opened in October after operating out of a temporary trailer on site.

There were games and entertainment for people of all ages at the grand re-opening of the Auld’s Cove Big Stop on August 17.