Lifetime Achievement Award 2023
Laurie Jennings

The Lifetime Achievement Award, presented this year by Patterson Law, is the highest honour of the Truro and Colchester Chamber of Commerce. It recognizes individuals who have had a life-long commitment to economic and community growth in the Truro and Colchester Region.
Tonight, we honour a businessman who is a visionary, a man that challenges the status quo and isn’t afraid to ask, “why not?” One can only imagine the original ideas that have flitted through Laurie Jennings mind as he quietly restocks his vegetable bins, one of his favourite tasks at his family-owned business, Masstown Market.
We can imagine him pondering “Why not build an inland light house? Why not add a real-life fishing boat to create a restaurant and welcome people to eat local seafood? Why not add some tourist information so they can discover more about the area?

The Market was established over 50 years ago by Laurie’s parents which grew a large clientele seeking local foods. It has expanded exponentially and flourished in the past decade under Laurie’s leadership, and contributes greatly to the region’s economy, now employing about 160 people year-round.
The business’s footprint has expanded from the original market and bakery to now include a creamery, butchery, service station, gift shop, café, event venue, pharmacy building and a new medical clinic.
He must have also thought, why not even add a Las Vegas-style “Welcome to Masstown” sign? Which is now an iconic stopping spot for social media enthusiasts to snap selfies.
Living by the mantra “Always have them leave with a little more than they expected,” he has kept a laser focus on supporting local which can be recognized within all aspects of the business.
Of the more than 500 regular suppliers across all the Market business units, about 73 per cent are based in Nova Scotia, followed closely by others located within the Atlantic Provinces and Canada, totally nearly 94 per cent.

Through his efforts and commitment to support local, about 73 cents of every dollar spent at the market remains in the region.
He has also kept environmental stewardship front of mind in his business growth plans. From engineered wetlands, heat recovery systems and LED lighting, to the installation of a massive solar project on the roof of the Creamery, he has blended economic growth with green energy solutions. The new solar power system includes 610 panels and reduces 212 tons of Carbon Dioxide annually, powering about 20 per cent of the site.

Never one to seek recognition, Laurie, wife Lisa and family have supported countless community, cultural, school and sport initiatives contributing to the vibrancy of the community.
Laurie received a Bachelor of Science and Biology from Dalhousie University in 1987 and has held several positions on committees and boards in the years since, including the Dalhousie University Board of Governors, for more than nine years, and Chair Academic and Student Affairs Committee for three years.

He has also served as an Invest Nova Scotia board member, past chairman of the Colchester Regional Development Agency, Chairman and corporate director for the Atlantic Provinces Chamber of Commerce, board member of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, board member of the Nova Scotia Exhibition Commission, member of the Minister’s Advisory Committee for Select Nova Scotia, President of Colchester Credit Union, President of Truro and District Chamber of Commerce 2005 and President of the Nova Scotia Chamber of Commerce.

He also played an integral role serving on the Chamber’s steering committee in the establishment of the Truro and Colchester Partnership for Economic Prosperity.
This is also notably the first time in the Chamber’s 133-year history that a lifetime achievement award has been presented to both a father and son of a long-time business in the region.

The Truro and Colchester Chamber of Commerce and Patterson Law are honoured this evening to recognize Laurie for his enormous contribution to our community.

Colchester County Mayor Christine Blair, Award recipient Laurie Jennings, Masstown Market, Award Sponsor representative Haley Sampson of Patterson Law