Congratulations to our first round of winners in our Shine On campaign! Winners receive a $3000 advertising campaign to be used in any of our Advocate Media publications with the guidance of one of our dedicated Marketing Advisors. We’re so proud to work with these businesses in the communities we serve and continue to see how they thrive and #ShineOn.

Halifax Magazine

Ana + Zac

“Ana and Zac continue to make sustainably sourced clothing at affordable prices. They have been ahead of the curve making ethically produced clothing focusing on basics, and providing work for the community by hiring local designers.”

– Teeny

Ana + Zac
2576 Agricola Street, Halifax NS

We are inspired by our habit of sharing clothing and by living a more minimalist and sustainable lifestyle.

Café Lara

“Lara Cusson that owns Cafe Lara on Agricola Street has created a very special gathering place prior to COVID and quickly became the neighbourhood cafe with great coffee and staff – I frequented it almost daily. Since COVID – she was on various media outlets regarding small businesses and is chair of Nova Scotia’s Small Business Affiliation. Cafe Lara [was] open 3 mornings a week with an order and pick up window bringing cheer back to the neighbourhood, offering products from other small businesses and created a fund for folks who cannot afford a coffee right now with job losses, expenses, etc…. a person just needs to ask for the “special” coffee and they will not be charged. Lara is an absolute joy and a ray of sunshine amidst COVID.”

– Anita

Café Lara
2347 Agricola Street, Halifax NS

Morning – Lunch & Later

Trainyard General Store

“Kimberley and Jason, the caring owners at Trainyard General Store stayed in regular communication with customers via social media – sharing their concern, plans and, ultimately finding a way to continue bringing locally made goods to shoppers. They took the time to reorganize, provide curb side pick up and pivot to an online shop. They kept a focus on giving back to the community – donating a percentage of sales to community groups. They have been very vocal about supporting Black owned businesses and offered pop up space to BIPOC makers. They are a gem of a store and the heart of downtown Dartmouth.”

– Erin

Trainyard General Store
53 Portland St, Dartmouth, NS

The Trainyard General Store is a community driven small business in downtown Dartmouth. We are passionate about whimsical & practical handmade goods, creative events and kindness.

Hub Now

NovelTea Bookstore Cafe

“Vonda and the team at NovelTea have done an amazing job of adapting to an impossible situation, and always with a smile! Their offerings of curbside pickup for drinks and treats has helped to keep something “normal” in our lives. Adapting with a plexiglass door so they can still take orders from walk-up customers, adding a debit tap option to minimize contact, always going the extra mile. I’m so glad they are in our little town!”

– Renee

NovelTea Bookstore Cafe
622 Prince St, Truro, NS
Mon – Sun, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

We are passionate about great quality drinks, amazing customer service, and supporting local artists and authors. We’ve combined the best of all this in one place. Enjoy the best espresso roasted in Nova Scotia, coffee roasted on site and loose leaf tea.

Old Road BBQ

“Aaron Emery, Owner & Operator of Old Road BBQ in Truro is a GEM! He started this business with a belief and commitment to fair chance hiring and providing a living wage. Just less than a year later was faced with a pandemic – COVID19. This crisis forced him to temporarily close his doors, however, he did not walk away from the BBQ. Old Road BBQ provided FREE food to front-line essential workers such as those in health care. After the tragic events in our community on April 18 & 19th, Aaron and crew fed those working the crime scenes in Portapique. AND… created a free “coffee stand” for those officers in collaboration with Aroma Maya Coffee and Coca-Cola.

Aaron is a passionate, adaptive, authentic and active community member and small business owner. This award is just a small gesture of recognition for what he has spearheaded in a time of crisis, tragedy and heartache in our communities of Nova Scotia.”

– Erin

Old Road BBQ
190 Industrial Ave, Truro, NS

Cooking up 100% wood-smoked BBQ on Canada’s East Coast. Local meat. Independent beer. Good people. Small town.


“A small local convenience store in North River is and has always gone out of their way by supporting the community with more than several fundraisers, donations and advertising through their Facebook page. During the pandemic they [had] closed their doors to make it safe for their customers, but opened a drive-thru and started purchasing bulk products of hamburger, bacon, sausages, chicken etc. The day the order comes in both sides of the road are lined up with people standing 6 feet apart. People are loving it as it keeps them from having to go to bigger stores. They also sell as many local products and crafts as they can!! Jay and Vanessa go above and beyond for their community!”

– Shellet

1117 NS-311, North River, NS
(902) 895-6929

A wonderful little country store – groceries, deli meats sliced fresh, Brothers pepperoni, subs and sandwiches, trays by order, lottery, ice, propane, ice cream and so much more.

LighthouseNOW Progress Bulletin

Lamprai & Spice Cafe

“Suni, the owner of Lamprai and Spice is exceptional. I am not just talking about the wonderful food she prepares, but the love and kindness she shows each and every customer. Suni has changed to serving food just once a week, with no contact. We now order and pay online then simply pick it up. We always look forward to what she will be offering each week and what new ideas she has come up with. Wednesday is now a special day for us. It’s a much needed diversion during this time of isolation. Many thanks for her dedication… We have now dubbed Wednesday ‘SuniDay’.”

– Karen

Lamprai & Spice Cafe
181 Lincoln St, Lunenburg, NS
Open Wednesday’s, due to COVID-19

Suni’s family favourite Sri Lankan-style inspired savouries, sweets, drinks, pastas, soups, rice, noodles and curry dishes .. with a “Canadian” twist too!

LaHave River Books

“In this period of isolation and uncertainty, it is important to keep our bodies healthy and sound. Many businesses have come to our aid, providing curbside service for food orders or displaying exercise videos on the Internet. But it is also important during these anxious months to fortify our minds by sharing ideas and stories with other human beings through time and space.

Thus we have books. And bookstores. Specifically, LaHave River Books, owned by Gael Watson and Andra White. This superior store with its beautiful view, its special selection of new and pre-used volumes and its friendly, helpful, and knowledgeable staff, continues to serve our community despite the restrictions.

Like the LaHave Bakery on the floor above, it also provides curbside service during the pandemic–feeding our brains. Andra also provides weekly updates on Facebook and through a customer e-mail list featuring books of interest, and the staff has been making weekly videos on the Municipality of Lunenburg County’s recreation Facebook page. As a local author and an insatiable reader, I am very thankful for the continued operation of LaHave River Books. Bookstore hours are Thursdays and Fridays from 10 to 2. Order from available stock or place a special request for pick-up or delivery. There is a just-right book or books for each one of us, especially now that we have the time to truly enjoy reading.”

– Syr

LaHave River Books
3421 Hwy. 331, La Have, NS
(902) 688-1855

Located at the LaHave Bakery, wharfside, we offer a diverse selection of books for readers of all ages. An inviting space to browse and read. \

Caico-Mae Clothiers

“Caico Mae Clothiers in Lunenburg has started a blog, based on the musings of a Misty the mannequin, that brings current issues & struggles to light and gives followers a few laughs as well. The owner has shed light on the importance of wearing masks, sharing grief and reaching out to others to help lighten the load in dark times.”

– Catherine

Caico-Mae Clothiers
138 Montague Street
Lunenburg, NS
(902) 634-9540
Caico-Mae Clothiers is a unique Ladies Fashion Boutique! Caico-Mae offers current trends and stylish fashion for the modern woman.

The Pictou Advocate

Jamieson’s General Store

“Jamieson’s General Store is a new business that started delivering locally sourced groceries from Oxford to Pictou. They have connected local producers to the rural community with one stop shopping online at and delivered to your door step with contactless delivery. They have traveled through multiple snow storms and late nights to ensure customers get their orders.”

– Sheila

Jamieson’s General Store
Orders delivered Tuesdays & Wednesdays

North Shore’s local source for grocery: Delicious, local, farm fresh foods. Jamieson’s General Store was started as a means to make locally sourced products more accessible within our community. Designed to be a one stop shop. In the wake of the recent events Jenna was called to action to help farmers and customers connect without having to leave home or the farm.

Our Turn to Cook

“As soon as I saw this opportunity, I knew right away that I HAD to nominate Brenda at Our Turn to Cook. Throughout the pandemic, Brenda has kept her business open which provides fresh, homemade, healthy prepared meals that are made daily. Brenda and her staff deliver these meals to your door, providing a contactless experience, anywhere in Pictou County FOR FREE. I have been a long time, loyal customer of Our Turn to Cook.

Recently, I lost two co-workers in the tragedy and when Brenda realized this, she had complimentary meals delivered to my door as a way to help and provide some comfort during this difficult time. Not only did she do this once, but a few days later, she sent complimentary desserts and beautiful locally made Nova Scotia earrings that are available for purchase in her store. It brought tears of happiness to my eyes during a time where there was so much sadness.

The last, and very thoughtful piece of Brenda’s kindness that I need to mention is the bond she intentionally formed between myself and one of her co-workers. Brenda knew her co-worker and I had several things in common, including the loss we both experienced during the tragedy. Brenda asked this specific employee to deliver the meals to me knowing we would chat from a distance during the delivery drop off. She knew that we were both having a hard time and could use each other’s support that day. Because of Brenda’s thoughtfulness, I have formed a bond with someone during a very difficult time that I otherwise would have never met. Not being able to be with my regular support system due to the pandemic, this gesture meant the world to me.

Brenda truly has a heart of gold and it flows through in the way she runs her business. She is there for her community when they need her the most and I think she deserves all the recognition in the world. Thank you Brenda!”

– Melanie

Our Turn To Cook
116 Provost Street
New Glasgow, Nova Scotia

The healthiest take out in town, specializing in Keto, vegan and gluten free meal preps. Everything from eat in restaurant, weekly meal preps to catering – soups, salads, sandwiches, smoothies, coffee, prepped meals to go and so much more!

Ahead of Hair

“Ahead of Hair adapted quickly to the pandemic and continued to serve their community and customers. We were able to pick up birthday gifts, Easter treats, and Mother’s Day gifts for friends and family! Doorstep delivery, and service with a smile. Truly one of the most innovative and clever local businesses in Pictou County.”

– Susan

Ahead of Hair
1 Water St, Pictou, NS

Enjoy the salon and spa services or shop the boutiques. If you have a sweet tooth, you must try their very own Treasure Trove Fudge! 

The Port Hawkesbury Reporter

Gary’s Groceries

“In a community of approximately 1500 people with a lot of seniors, we are 20 minutes to Port Hawkesbury and 30 minutes to Antigonish. Gary along with his wife Debbie and daughter Angela have gone above and beyond as front line workers. Up daily at 5 a.m. to begin his cooking of fresh-baked goods, he also ensures he is well stocked in fresh produce, meats and groceries to serve his community so they can “stay the blazes home” and not have to travel to get essentials. Seniors are especially well cared for and sleep in peace knowing that they do not have to go out during COVID-19, as Gary will deliver their groceries right to their door and bring a smile to their face. For those that can get to the store, they need not get out of their cars, if that is their wish, as a pop of the trunk and Gary will be right out to place them safely in. This top notch business deserves recognition for putting their well-being on the line each day for others.”

– Len

Gary’s Groceries
12557 NS-4, Havre Boucher, NS

Fresh baked goods daily, meat, produce, grocery and everything in between. Serving the communities from Havre Boucher to Antigonish.

Wayne’s Variety

“The community of Judique would like thank Wayne and his staff for all hard work they have done during this pandemic. If you need something they don’t carry they will order it for you. You leave the store with a smile on your face, so what more can you ask for during this trying time.”

– Annette

Wayne’s Variety
5447 19 Rte, Judique, NS
(902) 787-3404

Wayne’s Variety offers grocery and pantry items, as well as an attached NSLC.

Charles Forest Co-op

“The Charles Forest Co-op has gone above and beyond in its efforts to help the public during this challenging time. They have been extremely innovative and open to suggestions, implementing practices like an early morning shopping hour for seniors, one way aisles with arrows on the floors, and the ability to phone or email in your order and pick it up at the porch. Not only have they put these things in place, (and maybe other practices as well that I’m unaware of!), but they undertook these measures extremely early in the pandemic and provided a welcome relief that it would still be possible to safely shop for groceries on Isle Madame.

Whether answering the phone, calling with substitutions or for payments, dealing with Facebook inquiries or wheeling out a cart for grocery pick up, the staff have displayed EXEMPLARY customer service.”

– Myra

Charles Forest Co-op
2743 High Rd, Arichat, NS
(902) 226-2023

Charles Forest Co-op is a clean and welcoming full service grocery store with a great selection of fresh produce, fresh meats, deli meats and cheeses and freshly baked breads and sweets.

The Saint Croix Courier

Element506 Made Local Boutique

“Alicia (Owner of Element 506) kept the business going with convenient curbside pick-ups. She put together phone and email orders for clients who wanted her to create gift bags to lift spirits, as little “Pick Me Up Gifts” for others. AND one of her vendors made masks, Alicia kept up on all the orders. This little shop is just the best! They deserve a lot of recognition!”

– Melissa

Element506 Made Local Boutique
182 Milltown Blvd, Saint Stephen, NB

At Element506 you will find many unique items with the focus being on local New Brunswick products.

Puny Human

“Puny Human has gone over and above expectations during this
time. They have had pickup and delivery of games, cards, puzzles
you name it to keep kids and families busy. They have also had
rentals of these same types of items for those unable to make
purchases. They are a fantastic example of how a small business
can make a huge impact on a community. They have donated
to their local foodbank from procedes of specifi c sales [during
COVID-19]. Such a kind and selfl ess act in a time of uncertainty.
This is the kind of business we need to promote! The ones
who give back, not when it is fruitful to do so, but when the
community needs it the most.”

– Pamela

Puny Human
60 Union St, Saint Stephen, NB
Board games, cards and supplies, some comic books, graphic novels,dice, in-house craft-roasted coffee.

The Tatamagouche Light

Wallace Ritestop & Ultramar

“I’d like to nominate Wallace Ritestop & Ultramar. I really feel they deserve recognition for being here for the community. Several years ago the store burnt and Ultramar decided they would not reopen. The community came together and made it known they wanted the store to stay in Wallace, they organized a rally, called and wrote to every government official and Ultramar rep they could contact to voice their opinion. Ultramar held fast on their decision so the owners took it upon themselves to rebuild the store. This business is so important to the Wallace area as we would have to travel to Pugwash or Tatamagouche to buy a jug of milk or gas up our vehicles. During these unusual times of COVID-19 owner Amy Ouderkirk and her exceptional staff are going above and beyond to keep their customers safe and to make them feel comfortable when they come into the store. We are all in this together and essential businesses such as Wallace Ritestop are working tirelessly to serve all of us and keep us safe. Kudos to Amy and staff!”

– Esther

Wallace Ritestop & Ultramar
13910 Hwy 6 Wallace, Nova Scotia
Wallace Ritestop & Ultramar is a gas station/convenience store/NSLC agency location with tobacco, lottery items. New to this location is soft serve ice cream products and a lunch counter with pizza, subs, sandwiches and the like.

Tatamagouche Foodland

“They have been amazing! Gathered up our groceries and brought them out of the store and put them in the back of our car. They have been kind, considerate and gone above and beyond, we can’t thank them enough!”

– Marilyn

Tatamagouche Foodland
124 Main Street
Tatamagouche, Nova Scotia
(902) 657-3099
Foodland is the best of both worlds, the charm and comfort of a community general store with a selection and conveniences of a modern grocery store!

The Crafty Shore

“The Crafty Shore is a new small business that hosts many smaller artists and creators. They have a lovely store of treasures and so much talent on display. The store opened just before covid happened yet when the recent tragic events took place they stepped up and hosted an auction to raise over $5000 for those who lost loved ones. They also stepped up with a donation basket for the young boy from the community currently barreling leukemia. They are definitely a store that deserves support and is there to help others.”

– Elaine

The Crafty Shore
245 Main St.
Tatamagouche, Nova Scotia
(902) 986-7337

A collection of great artists and crafters show casing their works. Along with some great gift ideas and tasty spices,sauces,preserves and treats all displayed together under one roof. Read more about The Crafty Shore.