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THE WRAP: Uber, tubers, millennial havens and the fate of Come By Chance

Sharri Browne and her niece Ashley Peters are owners of The Humble Spud.
Sharri Browne and her niece Ashley Peters are owners of The Humble Spud. - Contributed

Your week in business


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Humble beginnings for this paean to the potato

No lofty vision, Sharri Browne’s idea for Humble Spud started as an early morning, before coffee inkling. Add the idea of a gourmet Meal in a Peel, a redone truck and two online characters named Buck and Chuck and this Guysbourough County aunt and niece have found their business nirvana. Check out their video here.

Uber and under

Uber, anyone? - 123RF Stock Photo
Uber, anyone? - 123RF Stock Photo

Halifax had barely green-lighted ride-hailing services when Uber said it is in. Uber Canada GM Matt Price said Halifax is excited about it. Maybe not as overjoyed as bar-hoppers waiting for wee hours rides and councillors for the tax revenue. Or as underwhelmed as cabbies who fear low-cost lightly regulated competition.

Sherman Hines and a mind hive for millennials

The Mission, also called the Old Stone House, was built in 1699 in Avondale. The current owners have spent several decades renovating and restoring the historic building. - Contributed
The Mission, also called the Old Stone House, was built in 1699 in Avondale. The current owners have spent several decades renovating and restoring the historic building. - Contributed

It’s a work of art the famous photographer has been crafting for 40 years. Now he and his wife are in talks to turn their sprawling Avondale property—that includes a restored mission built in 1699—into an affordable housing development for artists.

Halifax rents and renters moving up

Despite the pace of apartment building construction in Halifax, demand is such that prices continue to rise. - Ryan Taplin
Despite the pace of apartment building construction in Halifax, demand is such that prices continue to rise. - Ryan Taplin

If you rent in Halifax, you’re likely paying more than last year. How come? Some are moving on up like the Jeffersons. Others because demand lets landlords ask for it. Check who’s paying more and less here. Spoiler alert: Torontonians’ rents are going down. 

Double blow for NL oil

Arnold’s Cove, N.L., resident Alisha Fahey. - Barb Dean-Simmons
Arnold’s Cove, N.L., resident Alisha Fahey. - Barb Dean-Simmons

The East Coast’s petro-province just saw bad news get worse. Husky laid off staff after pulling the plug on West White Rose a week earlier. Then a deal with Irving Oil to keep the Come by Chance refinery open fell through. US-based Origin is still interested and there may be a mystery tire-kicker in the wings but the people whose livelihoods depend on the refinery aren’t counting on either.

Lobster time

Canso Seafoods has big plans for these fellas. - File
Canso Seafoods has big plans for these fellas. - File

When COVID sent people back to their kitchens, Canso Seafoods cooked up a plan to meet the market’s growing appetite for lobster made easy, cooked and ready to eat. At $23 million it’s a big investment, but the Bluenose company’s counting on new habits dying hard.

And moderate living ain’t easy

Chief Wilbert Marshall says he's proud of his community of Potlote for launching their moderate livelihood plan. OSCAR BAKER III/CAPE BRETON POST - Oscar Baker
Chief Wilbert Marshall says he's proud of his community of Potlote for launching their moderate livelihood plan. OSCAR BAKER III/CAPE BRETON POST - Oscar Baker

Last month’s clashes are being replaced, slowly, by respectful dialogue about how First Nations will exercise their members’ court-confirmed right to pursue a moderate livelihood from the lobster fishery. As Aaron Beswick writes, there are challenges aplenty, but social media, which can inform as well as inflame, appears for once to be doing the former. Potlotek began its fishery Oct. 1. Now band members like Crystal Nicholas are looking ahead with hope.


Sweet dreams of Folly Lake

Stacey Paupin pours a sample of birch syrup during a Lands and Forestry field day on Oct. 3. She and her husband Norman are the 2020 Nova Scotia Woodlot Owners of the Year. The Folly Lake couple are working on the development of birch syrup on their woodlands. - Darrell Cole
Stacey Paupin pours a sample of birch syrup during a Lands and Forestry field day on Oct. 3. She and her husband Norman are the 2020 Nova Scotia Woodlot Owners of the Year. The Folly Lake couple are working on the development of birch syrup on their woodlands. - Darrell Cole

Between them, Norm and Stacey Paupin have a growing resume: teacher, woodlot owner of the year and world birch syrup champion. The latter’s not a business yet, but they’re working on it at their Folly Lake, Nova Scotia woodlot. Birch syrup facts: A litre of syrup takes 100 of sap and it’s for salmon not flapjacks.

Flying? Say hello to the COVID tax

That’s right. St. John’s and Halifax are hiking airport fees. They started as ways to fund improvements. Now they’re more about survival as air traffic fell as much as 90 per cent because of the pandemic.

There’s gold there, somewhere

Notices of promising if preliminary results from holes in the ground at Oro Gordo or some such, north, south or west of some equally exotic sounding property somewhere far away keeps news release wires humming. Amid the dross, though, there’s always a nugget or two. Check out Halifax-based GoGold’s quarterly results here.

Who's hiring?

COVID’s put some jobs on the endangered lists but some industries are hiring. Want to know which? Click here.


PERSPECTIVES

DEVENNEY: Same old won’t cut it

Michael Devenney’s outfit, WorkInsights, talks to a lot of East Coast leaders. He’s hearing that most are playing defence instead of taking time during the pandemic to rethink and remake their businesses. How ready are you to survive and grow? Click here, take the survey and find out.

CARMICHAEL: How many engineers does it take to pivot?

At CAE, it’s a few hundred. That’s the number the Canadian aerospace company has looking for new ideas as the world around it seems to be spiraling downward. One possible winner? Electric-hybrid planes.

MONEY LADY: The pandemic and retirement

COVID doesn’t have to kill your retirement plan. Christine Ibbotson says it still starts with the same questions: what you want to do, where you’ll live, how much money you’ll need and maybe how long you’ll need it.


That’s The Wrap

Have a tip, a comment or something else to share? Email me at [email protected].

Back next Friday. Until then, enjoy the weekend and be thankful you’re not a turkey.

~ Brian Ward

Brian Ward.
Brian Ward.

Brian Ward is SaltWire Network's managing editor for business.  


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