Beyond the bridge
How Bazaar, Dave’s Lobster, Boom Burger, Gahan House, Cows — household names in P.E.I.
But now, those businesses are making a name for themselves in Atlantic Canada’s largest city.
In our past four editions, culminating with today’s, we’ve chronicled how each of those home grown companies and others are now successfully entrenched in Halifax’s bustling downtown shopping and dining scene. In the case of a couple of the companies, they’ve even branched out with spin-off businesses that are unique to Halifax and have become successful in their own right.
Some could argue these shops and restaurants are somehow sacrificing the “Island-ness” that makes them unique.
We disagree — it should be encouraging to P.E.I. residents and business owners alike that this friendly invasion seems to be catching on with Haligonians and the many visitors to the Nova Scotia city.
Much like many musicians who play the Island’s bar scene, the ultimate goal for many business owners is to reach beyond the coastline of our small province to bring their offerings to a broader market.
There aren’t many places where you won’t find a Walmart, a McDonald’s, a Tim Hortons, a Canadian Tire. These companies are successful for a reason, but they’re all headquartered (internationally, in most cases) in large urban centres, and the shopping or dining experience is relatively the same no matter where in the world you find them.
Why can’t Island businesses and entrepreneurs aspire to similar, albeit smaller successes, while maintaining a home base in P.E.I. and continuing to offer unique experiences, local ingredients and products?
To be sure, these homespun businesses are helping out Halifax’s economy, its entrepreneurs and its residents. But, what’s working well for Halifax also translates to good things for the economy in this province.
Successful expansion means more work at company headquarters here on the Island when it comes to personnel for human resources, payroll and administration for the Halifax establishments. Meeting with success there could also lead to future expansions back home.
In P.E.I., these success stories could inspire other business owners to dream a bit bigger, or at least show them the possibility exists.
Our savvy, talented business community here on the Island was long overdue for this type of expansion, and it appears the conditions exist to make it worthwhile to at least consider taking the risk.
Let’s hope this expansion continues and we see more P.E.I. in Halifax — and even beyond.