Chamber News

Truro ‘hardwired’ for Entrepreneurship

Truro ‘hardwired’ for entrepreneurship

Business panel shares challenges and successes in region


TRURO – A clear vision and a “believe it to achieve it” attitude has paid off for Truro entrepreneur Mitch Cooke.

The Brookfield native, former national motocross racer and now successful businessman recently shared his perspective on doing business in this region during a panel discussion hosted by the Truro & Colchester Chamber of Commerce.

The panel was moderated by Peter Theissen of P.T. Property Care and also featured view points and advice from Sharon Corcoran, sole proprietor of REMAX/Fairlane Realty and Connie Baird, owner of Party Time Rentals.

Cooke said when his professional motocross career ended at age 26 he was uncertain about the future but wanted to get into a business he believed in and was cultured in.

“I never used a cash register, I never sold anything, but I knew who I was targeting,” said the owner of H.A.F. Skate and Tattoo, now open at a new location on Inglis Street. “Vision is the No. 1 thing that kept me going.”

Vision also played a role for North River businesswoman Baird as she built her business from concept to reality.

In 2009, Baird was assisting her eldest son with plans for his upcoming nuptials when she realized how difficult it was to source many of the items locally that they needed to decorate for their special occasion.  Two years later, she opened a party supply rental business filling that identified void, which continues to see new growth in the wedding service market along with many other special events.

“I always joked I never got to be the mother of the bride and this was my chance to help all those brides,” said Baird.

Developing a solid business plan, establishing partnerships and seeking advice from others has contributed to her expanding business.

She said listening to the needs of customers and working hard are also keys to success.

“Customer service is the backbone of your business,” said Baird.

Corcoran said the business climate was very different for women in 1988 when she, and her former business partner, first launched a niche real estate business in downtown Truro. She later bought a franchise and has re-invented the business three times, now as the sole proprietor.

She recalled the research and preparation that was done prior to the initial meeting with a banker to secure funds for their business concept.

“We needed to have some history behind us and we didn’t,” the realtor said. The sales pitch for the business was well received so they acquired the necessary funding to launch and assembled a team of professionals to support the business plan.

She described the early years as “parsimonious,” adding cautious management of funds contributed to lasting success.

“I’m still having fun it’s like I never went to work yet,” Corcoran said.

Throughout the discussion, other points raised were the benefits of finding mentors, working with qualified accountants, the importance of learning to delegate as the business grows and the power of networking to develop and refine new business growth ideas.

“Be involved in your community and use every opportunity to network,” said Baird.

Theissen said entrepreneurship is “cool” now-a-days. “From a timing perspective, it’s really a great time to be an entrepreneur.”

Cooke agrees, and said Truro is a progressive place to do business.

“Truro is sick,” he said. “Truro is doing awesome. It’s really coming up.”

Corcoran added, “This town has always been strong on entrepreneurship. It just works here.”

“It’s Hardwired for it,” said Cooke.

Along with hosting the panel discussion, the Chamber celebrated national BDC Small Business Week with a suite of events including a women’s business breakfast, job fair, networking social, an educational lunch on the Economics of Health and an awards luncheon.

Chamber president Andrew Lake said in many ways small business contributes to the identity of a community.


“The entrepreneurialism of small business operators as ‎conveyed through their creativity to identify business opportunities is admirable,” said Lake. “Sharing stories and experiences provides a foundation and confidence to existing and prospective business owners.”

The president added the genuine passion for the community and humility shown by the panelists participating in the event reflects the interest of small businesses supporting one another for mutual success.


For more information about the Chamber call 902-895-6328 or email [email protected]