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Truro couple prepares for the future as they close Nova Scotian Emporium


Brenda and Clarence Dennis are going to miss their customers, but they’re excited about pending retirement.
Brenda has been running the Nova Scotian Emporium for 30 years and Clarence operated the Fireside Tea Room for 24 of those years.
“We’ll miss the customers but it’s time to take time for ourselves,” said Brenda. “We’ll do things we don’t have time for now and we’ll have more time for friends. 
“Clarence plans to build a greenhouse. I’ll help because I love gardening. We’re going to visit Clarence’s sister in British Columbia during the summer.”
Brenda, who is from the Gaspé, met Clarence, who grew up in Brookfield, while living in Ontario. 
“He wanted to move back to Nova Scotia and it was a good move,” said Brenda. “I have no regrets.
“I started the business because I always wanted to have my own gift shop, and one day I decided to go for it.”
The store opened in an older house on Bible Hill’s Main Street in 1989. After a couple of years Brenda moved it to the Fundy Trail Mall, a bustling shopping spot at that time.
When the four-storey downtown building, previously occupied by Central Equipment, went up for sale the couple decided to buy it. The emporium moved in and Clarence opened the Fireside Tea Room in one section. The businesses operated in the downtown area for almost 24 years.
“I added a lot more Christmas and kitchen items over the years,” said Brenda. “Christmas has always been one of my favourite seasons and I love decorating.”
Her daughter took over decorating the windows and helped with the Christmas trees on the upper shopping level. The shop became known as a place where Christmas items could be found year round.
The Fireside Tea Room closed in late April and was extremely busy the last couple of weeks.
“All I want to say is that I will miss all my lovely customers,” said Clarence.
Plans are for the Nova Scotian Emporium to close June 8. If product runs too low before then it will close June 1.
A purchase and sale agreement is in place for the building.
Because Brenda and Clarence have been living on the third floor, which they had converted into a condo, the sale also means a change of home for them. They will be moving into a house in Hilden.
“We’ve had some loyal customers who’ve been with us from the beginning,” said Brenda. “We really appreciate the support we’ve had over the years and just want to say a big thank you to all of our customers.”

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