Cou­ple finds prime op­por­tu­nity in Pic­tou County for hear­ing-re­lated ser­vice

The News (New Glasgow) - - PICTOU COUNTY - BY CAROL DUNN

Beth Wild had vis­ited Pic­tou County many times as part of her job work­ing for a hear­ing aid man­u­fac­turer, and said each time she en­joyed the friend­li­ness of the peo­ple and the beauty of the area.

So when she and her hus­band Erik Nis­san be­gan their fam­ily, they de­cided they wanted to leave the big city life of Toronto be­hind, and looked to Nova Sco­tia.

“We wanted to go some­where where we had more time with (their son),” said Wild.

“We were look­ing for a smaller com­mu­nity. We wanted a place where we would feel com­fort­able rais­ing Ja­cob,” said Nis­san.

The young fam­ily came to the area two years ago, with Nis­san man­ag­ing the eastern ter­ri­tory for the hear­ing aid man­u­fac­turer that they both worked for. They said Pic­tou County was the per­fect lo­ca­tion be­cause of its prox­im­ity to Hal­i­fax and the in­ter­na­tional air­port, which was im­por­tant for his job.

But lurking in their thoughts was the idea to start their own busi­ness.

“I al­ways wanted to have my own clinic,” said Wild, a board cer­ti­fied hear­ing in­stru­ment spe­cial­ist with seven years of ex­pe­ri­ence.

This was some­thing they weren’t able to do in Toronto be­cause of “astro­nom­i­cal” rents and the large num­ber of com­peti­tors, she said.

“The plan was al­ways in the back of our minds to own our own busi­ness,” said Nis­san, who has worked in the in­dus­try for 10 years.

In early Au­gust, they took the leap and opened Com­mu­nity Hear­ing, which of­fers a va­ri­ety of ser­vices from a full, com­pre­hen­sive — and free — hear­ing test and ear wax re­moval to hear­ing aid sales and ser­vice. They also pro­vide hear­ing pro­tec­tion, and can make cus­tom earplugs for hunters or peo­ple who work with noisy ma­chin­ery.

The in­de­pen­dent, fam­ily owned and op­er­ated busi­ness serves peo­ple over the age of 18, and Nis­san said even­tu­ally they would like to add to their staff of two.

He said from a busi­ness stand­point, the ag­ing de­mo­graph­ics of the area make it a good fit for their hear­ing clinic.

“So our hope is that as our pop­u­la­tion ages, the need for ser­vices that cater to se­niors will also grow. Al­though, we def­i­nitely en­cour­age peo­ple to start think­ing about their hear­ing health well be­fore the age of 65.”

He said any adults who have dif­fi­culty un­der­stand­ing oth­ers in so­cial set­tings such as restau­rants, should un­dergo a hear­ing test. “Es­pe­cially peo­ple who work in noisy sit­u­a­tions, they should be tested reg­u­larly and they should be ob­vi­ously us­ing pro­tec­tion.”

They sug­gest hav­ing a hear­ing test ev­ery cou­ple of years, sim­i­lar to rec­om­men­da­tions for eye tests.

While there are things Nis­san and Wild miss about city liv­ing, in­clud­ing be­ing close to fam­ily, they’re en­joy­ing es­tab­lish­ing roots in Pic­tou County. “For us, it’s re­ally — in terms of qual­ity of life — it all boils down to time. And we’ve just had so much more time with Ja­cob in the last two years, I don’t think we would have traded that,” said Nis­san, re­fer­ring to long com­mutes as­so­ci­ated with liv­ing in Toronto.

Com­mu­nity Hear­ing will hold its grand open­ing on Sept. 18 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. with pro­mo­tions and give­ways.

CAROL DUNN/THE NEWS

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