2023 Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient

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

2023 Business Excellence Award Recipient

Business Excellence Award 2023
Coldstream Clear Distillery

The Community Credit Union Business Excellence Award recognizes a business that has exhibited visionary leadership; achieving growth by introducing new products or ideas, expansion or exportation of goods or services and valuing employees and safety in the workplace.

The business is actively involved in the community through fundraising and partnerships in support of organizations or individuals working to better the community. It establishes partnerships and supports the local business community with leadership while actively looking to the future, focused on long-term results and job creation.

What started as a hobby business in Stewiacke about eight years ago, has flowed into becoming a leader in the beverage and alcohol industry across Atlantic Canada and is now reaching further with product being carried at Ontario’s LCBO stores.

Coldstream Clear Distillery is a family-owned business with parents and founders, Robert and Elaine Giffen, working along side their three children Liam, Olivia and Riley and about 85 employees.

The business has experienced exponential growth since its inception, carrying on a long-time family tradition of distilling, a story told on the label of their signature spiced rum about Simon Giffin, Halifax’s first distiller in 1749.

The business was initially started as a craft Vodka distillery and has expanded its range to include 10 types of spirits. A true turning point in their growing success was tapping into the development of ready-to-drink products, of which they now offer a compliment of 13, and a new lager is soon to enter the market.

Along with the flagship store at Mastodon Ridge in Stewiacke, their footprint has now reached Dartmouth and Antigonish and they have moved the head office and main production to Truro.

During its exponential growth since inception, the company has maintained a focus on innovation and expansion to meet consumer demand. The company bought an 11,000 square-foot building in the Truro Industrial Park in 2018.
This increased production and enabled more efficient packaging reaching an processing average of 200 cans per minute.

They have already outgrown this space, and are once again in expansion mode increasing to more than 48,000 square-feet. This will house the new brewing line as the company prepares to launch its Lager.

Even the pandemic didn’t slow down the company’s growth as they adapted and changed to meet new demands. They were one of the first alcohol companies in the province doing home delivery with up to five trucks on the road across Nova Scotia, a service which still continues today. They pivoted to manufacture hand sanitizer at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and supplied countless first responders and businesses with this key protection to fight the virus.

They are focused on environmental stewardship with every piece of packaging is recyclable, from bottle and cans to can toppers and boxes.

They say the secret ingredient to their success isn’t just what is found the in the bottles and cans but is their employees, a dedicated, extremely passionate team where everyone strives to be their absolute best.

The Truro & Colchester Chamber of Commerce is pleased to honour Coldstream Clear Distillery with the 2023 Community Credit Union Business Excellence Award.

Award recipients Liam Giffen, Olivia Giffen of Coldstream Clear, Colchester County Mayor Christine Blair, & Award Sponsor representative Michael Walker of Community Credit Union

2023 Business Person of Year Recipient

Business Person of the Year Award 2023
Robin Young

The BDC Business Person of the Year Award acknowledges a founder, owner, CEO, president or manager who has achieved significant success in their business by showing strong leadership skills and business acumen, contributing to the growth of the business.

This year we are pleased to honour the contributions of small business owner, Robin Young, owner of Jeans Flowers and Gifts.

Robin’s love for flowers began when she was a teen in high school. She would spend weekends, evenings, and summers in her parent's flower shop in Shubenacadie. Taking what she learned from her parents, Robin worked a couple years in Edmonton, gaining even more knowledge in floral arranging and business management.

Upon returning to Nova Scotia in the early ‘80’s, she bought her parents’ flower shop and then a few years later went on to purchase Jean’s Flowers and Gifts; where she has been its sole owner for 37 years.

Robin is extremely knowledgeable when it comes to floral arranging, having taken a floral design course in Holland, passing the exams with distinction, from there went on to teach floral design at the Nova Scotia Agricultural College.

On every occasion, happy or sad, and all the important milestones in between, Robin and her staff have delivered beautiful flower arrangements for generations and every branch of her customers’ family. Robin’s commitment to her community often goes undetected, helping when and where she can without hesitation. Her passion for flowers has blossomed into a well-known, and trusted family-oriented business.
Truro & Colchester Chamber of Commerce is pleased to recognize Robin Young with the BDC Business Person of the Year Award.

Award Sponsor representative Tyler Wheeliker of BDC, Award recipient Robin Young, Jeans Flowers & Gifts, Town of Truro Mayor Bill Mills

12 Days of Local Boxes are back!


A gift box filled with 16+ local products perfect for the holiday season. Perfect as a present for a loved one, for yourself, or as a corporate gift!

A new addition to the box this year is our local coupon book filled with special offers from Member businesses.
Keep an eye on our newsletter and social media for the announcement of goods and foods that will be in the box this year including snacks, gifts, foods, drinks & more.
$ +
$ +
Box valued at $150
Order now before they're gone!
To order, Click Here, call (902) 895-6328, or email [email protected]

2022 Small Business Award Recipients

For Immediate Release

Chamber to honour outstanding businesses with Small Business Awards

TRURO - The Truro & Colchester Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce this year’s Small Business Week award recipients.
Chamber Executive Director Sherry Martell said the Chamber received more than 100 quality nominations across 12 categories, the greatest number in recent years.
“For the second year in a row, we received the greatest number of nominations in categories of business growth and new small business,” said Martell. “This speaks to the vibrancy of our progressive business community and the opportunities for entrepreneurs to succeed in this region.”
This year, four new awards were added to the Chamber’s award program including, Workplace Excellence, Tourism Small Business, Small Business of the Year and Environmental Stewardship.
“During the past year, the Chamber struck a dedicated Awards Review Task Force that highlighted areas that they felt should be included in our awards program to modernize and recognize sectors leading our economic growth,” said Martell. “We see the result of their work with the addition to the awards line-up this year.”
The award recipients of 2022 are:
New Small Business of the Year, Big River Café;
Small Business Achievement, Maritime Auto Parts;
Export Achievement, Cobequid Consulting;
Small Business Innovation, ASE Print & Sign;
Excellence in Community Development, Angel's Diner on the Corner
Agriculture/Agri-Small Business, Ebbett's Meadow Brook Farm;
Small Business Growth, Warmth By Design Inc.;
Newcomer Business of the Year, Kabitenyos Filipino & Asian Variety Store;
Workplace Excellence, Julie Mont, PropertyGuys.com - Truro, Colchester, East Hants;
Tourism Small Business, Tatamagouche Grain Elevator Village
Small Business of the Year, LIBCAN Properties & Restoration
and Environmental Stewardship, Sun Kissed Energy
The 12 awards are sponsored by Community Credit Union, Grant Thornton, Nova Scotia Business Inc., RBC, Town of Truro, MNP LLP, BDC, Truro-Colchester Partnership for Economic Prosperity, Payworks Municipality of the County of Colchester, CBDC NOBL and Town of Stewiacke respectively.
Recipients will be honoured at this year’s Small Business Week Award Luncheon, on October 21, 2022, 11:30 a.m., at the Inn on Prince.
To reserve seats at the luncheon by Monday, Oct. 17, visit the Chamber website at www.trurocolchesterchamber.com and click the event calendar, or contact the Chamber of Commerce office by calling 902-895-6328 or email [email protected]. Seats cost $30 for chamber members and $40 for future members (plus tax).
Media Contact:
Sherry Martell
Executive Director
Truro & Colchester Chamber of Commerce

2022 Small Business Start-Up Legacy Award

The Truro & Colchester Chamber of Commerce is pleased to issue a call for submissions for its 5th annual Rising Star Start-Up Award Investing in Entrepreneurs provided in partnership with several of its members to offer support to a budding entrepreneur.

This award will be presented in October during the Chamber's Small Business Week Awards Luncheon, sponsored by MNP LLP on Oct. 21 to assist the recipient in taking their venture to the next level.

Its purpose is to identify a viable start-up - a business that is just beginning to develop, located within Truro and Colchester region - and provide it with a one-time $2,500 cash prize as well as in-kind supports, products and services, from partnering member businesses.


  • You must live within Truro or Colchester Region
  • The business must operate within Truro & Colchester Region
  • Open to an individual or partners with a business idea that needs capital and professional support.
  • All entrepreneurs must have ideas or business models in the start-up phase and have earned less than $5,000
  • Your business idea should stand apart from current business offerings, giving you a unique edge on the competition.
  • Demonstrate the grant money and support services will have a meaningful impact on business growth and job creation in the local area

Submissions will be received by the Chamber until Sept. 26, 2022. Awards will be presented at the 2022 Truro & Colchester Chamber of Commerce Small Business Awards luncheon at noon on Oct. 21. Chamber at 902-895-6328 or email [email protected]

Selection Process:

The Truro & Colchester Chamber of Commerce will appoint an internal preliminary adjudication committee to review submissions consisting of Chamber Board of Directors and members, which determines the eligibility of each nominee. Submissions will be treated with the strictest of confidence. Shortlisted nominees will be invited to present to a judging panel consisting of Chamber members and/or representatives from sponsoring partners.

Applicants/nominees understand and agree that merely by applying for these Awards does not entitle the applicant/nominee to any other form of consideration.

Decision of the Chamber-appointed judging panel on all matters is final and binding on all applicants/nominees and no correspondence will be entertained on the same.

The Chamber reserves the right to withdraw or amend the terms of the Awards at any time, and does not take the responsibility for any loss or damage that any person / organization / Applicant / Nominee may suffer as a result of the Awards being withdrawn or its terms amended.


Small Business Week Award Nominations Now Open!


Small Business Week Awards – Oct. 21, 12 p.m., Inn on Prince

*All Nominees will be contacted to fill out a questionnaire from the Truro and Colchester Chamber of Commerce that will be used by the panel of judges to determine the award recipient.  All responses will be kept strictly confidential.



2022 Small Business Award nominations are currently being accepted in the following categories:

Note: Qualifying businesses must employ less than 100 people.


New Small Business of the Year, sponsored by Community Credit Union

Criteria: The New Small Business of the Year award recognizes a Truro or Colchester County business person whose dream of opening their own business has earned them the title of “Start-Up Entrepreneur” over the past year. Their business must have shown innovation, and they must offer a unique product or service to Truro and Colchester County.


Small Business Achievement, sponsored by Grant Thornton

Criteria: The Small Business Achievement Award recognizes a local entrepreneur who has been in business for more than 10 years and demonstrates new product or service achievements, business growth and a commitment to their community.


Export Achievement, sponsored by Nova Scotia Business Inc.

Criteria: The Exporter of the Year award will recognize a Truro or Colchester County business that has demonstrated excellence in exporting outside Nova Scotia. The business must have achieved noticeable growth as a result of entering the global marketplace and has made a significant contribution to the growth of the local economy.


Small Business Innovation, sponsored by RBC

Criteria: The Small Business Innovation Award will recognize a Truro or Colchester County entrepreneur who has been in business for more than five years, continually modifying to demonstrate innovative leadership through technology, development of new or value-added products and services and improved productivity. Those nominated for this innovation award portray community spirit and generosity towards clients past, present and future by consistently supporting community causes and grow employment in the local area.



Excellence in Community Development award sponsored by the Town of Truro.

Criteria: The Excellence in Community Development award will recognize a business or social enterprise that has made significant and notable contributions to its community (cultural, social, environmental and/or economic) and that serves as a catalyst for positive action, exhibiting the highest standards of leadership. 


Agriculture/ Agri Small Business Award, sponsored by MNP LLP

Criteria: Recognizes an individual, group or organization or business where the principles of running a successful agricultural or related operation are applied and result in a thriving and environmentally friendly endeavor. The enterprise must derive more than 50 percent of its annual revenue from agricultural-related activities.


Small Business Growth Award, sponsored by BDC

Recognizes a business that has been in operation for more than two years, demonstrating growth in a measurable way such as expansion, increased customers, new employees, and new products. 


Workplace Excellence Award - Payworks

 This award recognizes a small business employee that goes above and beyond in their job duties. The employee delivers excellent customer service, engages in professional development and places a high level of importance on corporate culture, teamwork and ensuring a happy and healthy work environment.


Small Business of the Year Award – CBDC NoBL

Honors an outstanding business with 1 – 20 full-time employees that demonstrates commitment to performance excellence in their business or industry and embodies the spirit of the business community. Must be an independently-owned business for at least 3 years. Recognizes outstanding achievement in some or all of the following: Research & Development, Company Growth, Customer Service, Products & Services, Market Development, Sales & Marketing, and Community Service. The nominee must be a registered business operating in Colchester County. 


Newcomer Business Award – Sponsored by TCPEP 

This award recognizes the contribution to the local economy by a business that has opened in Truro or Colchester County by an individual who has moved to the community in recent years and is not an original resident of this region. 


Tourism business of the year – Municipality of the County of Colchester 

This award recognizes an individual, group, organization or business operating in Central Nova Scotia where the principles of running successful tourism or related operation are applied and result in a thriving attractive business for visitors. The enterprise must derive more than 50 percent of its annual revenue from tourism-related activities.

Small Business Environmental Stewardship Award - Sponsored by the Town of Stewiacke

This award recognizes a business that keeps environmental stewardship at the forefront of its operations. They keep resources in use for as long as possible, extract the maximum value from them, and then recover and regenerate products and materials at the end of each service life. Their focus on environmental stewardship may reduce waste, drive greater resource productivity, address emerging resource security/scarcity issues in the future, while implementing a plan to extract the maximum value and use from raw materials, products and waste, fostering energy savings and reducing Green House Gas emissions.


Nomination forms are also available from the chamber office at 105B Walker Street, Truro and online at www.trurocolchesterchamber.com 

Nominations will be accepted until Sept. 26, 2022


When will the awards be presented?

The award luncheon will be held at the Inn on Prince on Friday, Oct. 21, 2022 beginning at noon.

Butterfly Sculpture - Request for Proposal

The Truro & Colchester Chamber of Commerce, along with our partners, is creating a series of interactive, human-scale butterfly wing sculptures to be placed in key main street neighbourhoods throughout Colchester County. These art installations will beautify our downtown and main street neighbourhoods and provide aesthetic, artistic and interactive benefits which will enhance the pedestrian experience for visitors, businesses and the community.

5 x Butterfly Wing Sculptures with moveable display bases, made to human scale that can be decorated by local artisans and can withstand the elements.

For more information, click here to download the Request for Proposal.

Shop Local Boxes - Summer boxes available now!

The Chamber is currently working on Shop Local boxes for Summer, Fall and Winter that will be filled with all local foods and goods.
Our Celebrate Summer boxes filled with 15+ local products as well as samples and specials are now available for purchase. Don't miss your chance to get one of these amazing boxes. Limited supply available!
To order a box click here
COST: $80.00 +hst
Do you have a product that you think will be a good fit for our fall or winter boxes? Fill out the form below to let us know!