The Masstown Market is bucking the trend of struggling rural businesses and instead focusing its attention on a significant expansion.

Owner Laurie Jennings bought the nearby Masstowner Motel a few weeks ago.

"The property on this side of the road is full, but there's lots of things that can happen across the road here in Masstown over the next two or three or five years and I'm really excited," he said.

The building and its small gas station have already been demolished.

Jennings said the plan is to put in a modern gas stop and convenience store, all in an effort to entice more people to pull off Highway 104. The market already attracts more than one million customers a year.

"The local folks we count on and depend on every day," said Jennings. "Some of those folks are coming once a year because they're going to visit grandma on their annual pilgrimage back to Nova Scotia, kind of thing. So we just have to be able to offer more things — more reasons — for folks to just stop more often."

Masstown market

More than one million people visit the Massstown Market every year. (CBC)

Masstown Market also serves as one of the biggest employers in the area. About 125 people work there, including Wanita Corbett.

"It's great to have something that you can get full time work and it's close to home. That means a lot to people," he said.

Jennings said the gas bar will be up and running by the spring. The sale included an eight-bedroom house that he plans to convert into office space.