Nova Scotia

3 new businesses open in former Margolians

The Margolians name in Truro is gone, but the building has started to come back to life.

The Margolians name in Truro is gone, but the building has started to come back to life.

Three months ago the store, once the icon of Truro businesses, shut its doors.

The building has been sold and subdivided and three new businesses have opened since Friday, including one that had an unexpected and unscheduled opening Tuesday morning.

Mike Lesser opened his store in the former Margolians building in Truro. (CBC)

"Yesterday there were people coming through the doors that wanted to buy," Mike Lesser, manager of etc…etc…etc., said Tuesday.

"Well, if they want to buy, we want to sell. That's what we are here for."

Lesser, a former manager at Margolians, believes a smaller, more focused approach will help him compete against the larger chain stores.

"We always said that we'd try to separate ourselves from a lot of the big boxes by offering that extra step of service that you need as an independent," he said.

To do that, he's hired many former Margolians employees.

"It's home. We’re back with some of the familiar faces and excited to serve the customers and get back to what I like to do," saleswoman Lisa Joyce said.

Leslie Carroll, of Leslie's Finery, saw the building as a chance to expand her lingerie business.

Leslie Carroll expanded her lingerie business by opening a shop in the former Margolians building. (CBC)

"I already have a strong customer base in my New Glasgow store from Truro, so I thought this was a good chance to make an expansion and go from there," she said.

She, too, hired from the former staff.

"I like the shops up here, the people, the atmosphere," employee Elsie Muise said.

Jamie Oudermans's Clay Cafe is in the oldest part of the building.

"It definitely feels it with the creaky floors and the old tin ceilings. They came out pretty nice, too," she said.

Oudermans moved her craft painting business from another part of town and she's already seeing a difference.

"There's been more and more people just popping in to see what were about. So I think, yeah already it's starting to work."

Customers like the idea of shopping in the old building, creaking floors and all.

"Margolians, well, it's a piece of history. So it's nice to have history revisited and it's nice to have a new business come and add a new opportunity," said one woman.

Other spaces are under renovations and more businesses will open soon.