The town of Port Hawkesbury, N.S., is celebrating the first anniversary of a sale that helped save the community.

Port Hawkesbury Paper opened its doors on Monday to mark its first year in business.

Stern Partners bought the mill in Point Tupper last fall, after its previous owners went bankrupt. About 1,000 people were left without work when the operation closed, including 600 employees and approximately 400 forest contractors.

The Cape Breton mill hosted an open house and barbeque for hundreds of employees and dignitaries.

The new operation is smaller, with about 250 fewer employees.

President Ron Stern said it is also much more efficient, and is turning a profit.

"We’re here for the long haul. We’ll tell you that now. We’re committed to this place. We’re stubborn and together with the people in the mill we will move heaven and earth to make this place succeed," he said.

Stern said the biggest challenge is bringing down the cost of energy. The mill pays up to 30 per cent more for electricity than similar mills.

Stern said he won't ask for a further break on power rates, but will look for efficiencies inside the operation.

The mill produces 400,000 tonnes a year of glossy paper used for magazines and catalogues.

Click to hear mill manager Mark Dube talk with CBC's Information Morning.