The Day The Raccoon Came To Visit Downtown

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We all know that the raccoons are never in town with loads of traffic and people, sure we see them dead on the highway when they are trying to cross the road but never in my 15 years here did I ever see one in town.  Much less one that doesn’t wanna move after many hours.

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So perch on one of the buildings next to our store, he had been there for at least 5 hours now.  What could the raccoon in town means ?  I wonder – good sign or bad omen?  Well, I found nothing online , but the raccoon seems mild and wasn’t out to terrorize anyone , so that’s good.

Groupon 90 Minutes Visit To Town

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So I read yesterday about the Nova Star Cruises Groupon offer and after much reading on CBC news as well as Facebook, I have mixed feelings about the promotion.    To me , the marketing department of Nova Star Cruises or the person who went on Groupon to do this promo, didn’t word this promo too well.   If you read carefully, on the itinerary on the promotion, this is what it said and I quote :

On arrival in port, at 8 a.m., all passengers will be required to briefly disembark and go through Canadian customs, before immediately returning to the ship for a 9:30 a.m. departure and the 10-hour return voyage back to Portland.

I think this really doesn’t sit well on the people on our end, if you asked me.  Many concerned asked what can you do in 90 mins and what is the targeted visitors here?  And I’m fully aware of their concerns and where they are coming from.  I’m 50 yrs old and I know I won’t be spending $600 for a family of 3 to sit on the boat for this long , just for a 90 mins stopover.  That’s way too short for me and my family (but I’m talking about my family only).

 So lets just say they are targetting the older retired couples or single folks – would they really want to spend 20 hours to and fro from Maine to Yarmouth and spend another 90 minutes in Yarmouth and then go right back home?  I can’t speak for them , so I will ask some older – retired folks before I can tell you the answer.

Now what the town people are concerned about is , what would the 90 minutes in town benefit them and why do businesses want to be opened any earlier , except for those right by the ferry terminal.  There are just too many cons in this marketing strategy but of course that’s only my opinion and what do I know right? being a small business owner for only 16 yrs.

We have never done tourists business but I feel really bad for those who are waiting for the boat to come back and for them to bring in the tourists.  I feel for them .

New Sign For The Store

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I’m thinking of making a new sign to hang around the store , telling shoplifters that we will embarrass the hell outta them if they are caught.  Gonna show it to my friends from home and get their input before printing them out.  What do you think?

Kudos To 100 Women’s Club

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Yes ! kudos to the 100 women club for taking the initiative and forking $100 quarterly to help a non – profit organization.  I wanted to join the club too but no one approached me about it so I decided to just continue doing my own charitable work that I’ve been doing for the last 25 yrs.

Even though we’ve been in business for 16 years to date, it still seems like we are still not included in a lot of stuff that we can be helpful for around town.  But that’s ok, because that means that we don’t have to entertain and can help the charity we want to help without the big boo haaas.   Low profile works best for the boss, so we will continue being as low profile as possible.  But kudos to the 100 women who have gotten together to help others.

A Very Busy Month

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Yes, we had been very busy !  therefore, please excuse us for not updating as often as we would love to and telling you all the good stuff happening at the business and the store.

Gold Crosses For Christmas

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Every year during Christmas season, we get so busy , we shop for our Christmas presents usually last minute.  This year however, I found a place that sells  gold cross  for all my church friends for Christmas and since they are so reasonable in prices, I’ve decided to buy more than just a few because my nieces and nephews could use one as well.  So a bar of chocolate and these lovely gold crosses for every single one.

We Are Rebels This Year !

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 Yup! we are christmas rebels this Christmas !  hehe!!  we haven’t had our windows decorated at the store yet !  not because we don’t want to but because I had been sick and that kept me from doing what I want to do this year.  But not to worry, we will have the decor up by December 1st I promised.

First Busy November

Novembers are usually very slow for us , well until the fishermen goes out for their lobster fishing and then we will all get busy.  But this year, everyone is busy, it’s not just us but everyone.  I’m very happy indeed to see that all businesses are doing well and hope that it will continue for the small businesses on Main Street.

And we have been selling a lot of Pokemon cards of late – I can’t believe it !  and Yugi – Oh too!  it’s awesome!  seeing that people are supporting our local business more.

Weekender In The Vault With The Mayor

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Love our Mayor and knowing that she was on the local news doing a talk show, I had wanted very much to listen to her and talks about the revitalizing of the down town and also questions on the ferry from here to Portland.  Like everyone in town, we too are concern and want to be “in” the loop even though we are very busy running our own business.  But like I said, we love our Mayor and know that she is doing her darnedest even though we don’t see her often and if we do in a restaurant, she is too busy doing her own thing.

The first part and first caller to the radio show was none other than someone who have had been talking bad about anything the town councils had been doing, so as soon as the Mayor found out who he was, you can hear the disdain in her voice.  But can you blame her?  I can’t , I won’t be too happy either if someone keeps thrashing me.  I think she answered his questions quite well and quite diplomatically and refused to go down to his level and for that you have to give her lots of credit.  She composed herself very quickly after he was cut off by the host in a timely manner and fashion.

I tried listening to the rest of the interview but it was hard to decipher what the questions were because the radio behind the callers were turned on too loud I think.  But I’m going to try listening to it again tomorrow and update on my thoughts but the boss who was also listening in to the vault, and remarked that it was nothing that we haven’t heard after the interview.  So I’m going to see what was really said before commenting.

NOT HIRING !

Someone wrote to the boss not too long ago from Alberta and said that she was coming home and looking for a job.  She wanted to know if the boss remembers her and if we had a job even if it is part-time.

The boss said that he definitely remembered her because she left without returning 2 new movies of ours.  And of course, he ain’t hiring her but to be professional, he just told her no, we ain’t hiring and that was it. There are times that we want to say so much to these people, I wonder if they have amnesia or they think we do?  People who ripped us off don’t get a 2nd chance.  Sorry folks!

To Do Or Not To Do

Town Planning Dept looking at map with parks and green spaces. 'Ok! Let's eat our greens'So I saw the live feed of the town’s meeting recently and wonder why the councils are wasting their time on certain issues.  The monthly meeting went on and on and things had been discussed to no end.  Sometimes, I wonder why they are wasting so much time and energy on something so non- important.

So what if a few people are bitching about something, if the councils see fit to do something for the good of the town, like having music in center town , so be it.   And yes, the parking issue again !!!  OMG!!  tourist ain’t gonna stop coming to town just because they have to pay for parking.  We go to halifax and pay a lot for parking and we still go there everytime we get a chance.

I think the councilmen should concentrate on how to bring more tourist/s to town and keep them in town and build more infrastructure as well as attracting more industries to come into town and not just bringing shopping giants to town.  And think of ways to keep more young people into town.

Certain issues are just not worth getting into again and again.  Just do what is right by the people and be able to justify what you are doing and transparency is important in this town.

Foggy Business For Halloween

Saw some really cheap fog machine meant for events or Halloween on sale at  Musician’s Friend  and figured I should get them now, so that when we decorate our windows for Halloween, it would be the best Halloween window.  Crazy as it might seems right now, Halloween is the boss’s favorite holiday and I think he likes decorating creepy stuff and the fog machine would definitely be something we can use on the window and also on different events around the year.

PS :  They also have a snow flurry machine – hmmmm… thinking of  Christmas window decoration as well now. 

Summer Ready For The Store

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Loving all the beautiful flowers that we saw at Canadian Tire and was tempted to buy it for the store to decorate it.  But I reminded myself that one cannot have too much flowers in a store like ours.  Ours ain’t a girly girl store – it’s more a geeky kinda store , so I stopped myself.

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But downtown would be so beautiful if the town would invest in these flowers to beautify downtown.  I bet the tourist would love it too.

Wedding Season In Spring

 Yes, we have been invited for a few already and one of the perks as an owner by association to the spouse’s business is knowing just about everyone in town.  And yes, we get invited to weddings !  yay!  did i tell you how much i loved weddings!!!  I go to all weddings if i could, I just love the atmosphere, the bride, the bridesmaids and the ceremony and of course the food! most importantly, the memories and the videos and photographs.

And since you only get married once in a lifetime, you probably want to get the best photographers like the  photographers in nc  .  If you see their work, you will know how good they are.  And if you asked me for advise on what’s the most important thing in a wedding is a good and professional photographer!  don’t be stingy on it now,  you pay for what you get like my mother used to say.

Full Circle

The boss just told me this evening that we already surpassed what we made last April.  Woohoo!  right?  well , kinda but it also means that we will have to pay more taxes next year if we continue the way it is.  Personal taxes are really high in Canada if you don’t know by now.  This year alone we are paying close to $20K in taxes but having said that it’s because we don’t have any employees and we don’t have any expenses.  We pay for our own coffee and any kind of stationary that we need at the store.  We are very el – cheapo, just no frills at our store, no promotional pens or fancy looking paper or plastic bags. We keep everything at lowest cost as possible.  Therefore, we are able to charge reasonable prices for everything we do in the store or sell in the store.

This August marks our 15 yrs in business and I’ve been here for 14 and the store had gone thru’ so many changes but one thing for sure is that we are quite established and can use a bigger store but I’m very reluctant to move.  Why? because I loved this place, this store has been so good to us, the feng shui is good and we are doing better each year.  I loved that the customers know where we are and are comfortable with the parking here.  I also loved that it’s so close to eateries around town.

The store is small but it only means that it’s great for just one person looking after the store, any bigger, you will need more than one person to look after if the store is busy.  There are not many blind spots in this store because it’s so small, if we do move to a bigger store, it would mean that we won’t be able to overlook the entire store – means more theft.

Plus, we really don’t want to hire anyone, because of all the money we put out and none seems to be happy for a long time.  At first, they are grateful for a job but after a few months, for whatever reason/s, they don’t want to work hard anymore.  So if we keep the store small, we can handle stuff on our own, we don’t have to waste money and if we need to go for a vacation, we just close the store for a week or two.  I think we’ve come to a full circle as of now, we’ve hired friends, we’ve hired young ppl , old ppl, middle age ppl but non seems to work out, so now we are just contented having it the way it is.  When ppl say they can’t find a job in town, that’s bullshit, they just want to be paid the highest wages for doing nothing and the least hours.  So nope, that mentally needs to be stopped, else no matter where you go, you are not going anywhere.

Intern Jobs

While bigger businesses have lots of internship, small businesses has been asked to be a role model to high school kids as well and offer internship to these kids who are about to graduate from high school.  We of course, have been asked many a times to train and provide internship positions as well but have yet had any success with it.

This year is no different, we have been approached once again not only by the school but by other people as well.  I’m all for internship because, it will be our chance to give back to the community but being such a small store, the intern will be bored really soon.  So how do I create a viable internship for these kids as well as make the boss interested in taking in an intern?

I threw the question out to the boss again this week but he said that he was too busy to train some one this year because it had been a lot busier since our “friend” quit the store.  We have had more computers come into the store for repairs and more rentals of late and more people coming in to buy consoles as well as movies and games.  I have no idea why the sudden surge of customers but I ain’t gonna complain at all.

But it is a few months more till summer, so I am still hopeful to bring in one or two intern this year.

Backlogged

Yes! we are backlogged having 7 to 8 computers/laptops coming in everyday.  So instead of 24hrs service, we have to say 2 days now.  But the boss is trying his best to finish repairing all the computers/laptops asap.  But I guess we are quite famous these days with computer repairs just by word of mouth.

This August will be our 15 years in business, no easy feat I assure you.  We have seen good customers, bad ones, good employees and bad ones and ignorant people and customers who turn into friends.  It was quite a journey I have to say.

Halloween Theme At Farmer’s Market

I’m very proud of the Farmer’s Market in town – they have been around for some time now and they are still going strong.  Many years ago, the chicken man at the Farmer’s Market said he would not support the Farmer’s market if it is downtown because it wouldn’t work.  Well, see it did work and it does work.  Downtown is very much the place for the Farmer’s Market – I wished they were closer to the store on Main Street though.  Maybe, a art center in the middle of the town would bring more people downtown eh.

The vendors and the entire market were all very festive and all dressed up for Halloween. Good job guys!

Airshow In Town

I’ve been to many airshows before coming to Canada but this airshow in our town is still very good and amazing and I’m so happy that the town brought them in.  I would have paid more than $5 per person just to get into the airshow and see everything up closed and personal.

There were so many people enjoying the airshow and I know that we had such an amazing time.

The planes were loud but we didn’t mind it a little bit.

Congrats to the organizers and of course the airport manager for co-ordinating everything.

This year getting into the airshow didn’t take us long at all – unlike previous years, we turned back because the line wasn’t moving at all after half an hour.

I can’t wait for the next airshow to come back to town.  I for one am very appreciative for all these events – they are so good for the kids and the economy of the town.

Doing Business In A Small Town

 Tis’ not easy doing business in a small town.  We want to expand and I think it’s about time but to find the right building or to build one ourselves or even to bring investors in seems almost impossible without having to kiss someone’s you know what.  It’s very frustrating – the right location that we want – cannot be expanded and I was just told that even if we had the money, we have to be friends with the croakiest lawyer and politician.

I love the town, don’t get me wrong but we also want to own a building to call it our own – 14 yrs in business this august – we need to have something to show besides inventory right?  Got cash, got credit but no building that we can buy or rather, the buildings we want, is not up to code or the boss wants to turn a restaurant into a store – I say it’s crazy but he thinks it’s feasible ?  *roll eyes*.  Of course, anything can be done – but not without spending a lot of money – so unless he is ready to spend that kinda money to bring in some good construction ppl, he will only be getting a lot of headaches.  So yes, not easy at all and truthfully, I don’t wanna keep renting – do you?