Justin Winstanley puts some finishing paint touches on a doorframe to his new tattoo shop, which will open at the beginning of May in the basement level of the North Shore Business Development Centre. Raissa Tetanish photo

The business development centre will soon be at capacity once again.

The centre, which houses a number of businesses already, will see three new ones open in the coming months.

“It’s really exciting,” said Linda Byers, one of roughly 10 board members with the North Shore Community Development Association, which now owns the building.

“It’s nice to know we’re instrumental in four new businesses coming to the village,” added fellow board member Esther MacKenzie.

The centre was built in 1948 and first housed a hardware store. In the early 1990s, another community association had taken over the building and renovated it.

“There used to be stairs right up the middle of it,” said Byers. “It was beautiful.”

The main floor was used as an incubator space for businesses before the community development association took over in 1994.

FutureWorx, formerly Open Doors, now calls the building home, as well as Quality Cuts and a medical transcriptionist.

While the upstairs used to be used for educational purposes such as the C@P site, insurance reasons don’t allow tenants there on a regular basis.

“Courses were offered upstairs for about a decade,” Byers said.

During tax season, H&R Block can be found at the centre.

The three new tenants will be featured around health and body services, with Melissa Denning opening Journey to the Heart, featuring Reiki, crystals, chakra balancing, and others.

Janice Buckler’s Natural Legends Nutritional Consulting will also open in the facility, offering meridian stress and allergy testing.

Justin Winstanley is moving into the former vet space in the basement, offering tattoo services under his own name.

“I’m moving here fulltime in about two years time,” said Winstanley, whose mother’s family is from Tatamagouche.

Opening in the first week of May, Winstanley will first offer bi-monthly appointments (booked online), as he’ll still be living and travelling from Ontario.

“Just look around,” he said, when asked why he wanted to move to Tatamagouche. “It is what it is. It’s fantastic and I want to be here.”
It was the interest from the businesses that saw the development association renovate the basement of the centre, which up until June housed a fitness centre.

“One was originally interested in the upstairs, but we couldn’t rent the upstairs,” said MacKenzie.

Byers said at the same time, the association was in contact with Joy O’Neill, the county’s economic development officer, about creating an incubator space for businesses.

“So once they expressed interest, we renovated the basement to divide the space,” Byers added.

Winstanley wasn’t planning on opening shop in the village until later down the road, but changed his mind.

“They have a nice plan for the place and I wanted to get in on it,” he admitted.

Helping three businesses establish in the community is wonderful, said MacKenzie.

“It’s a real plus for the community. Anytime we can get something new, it helps bringing in clientele to the area,” she said.

A grand opening celebration for the new businesses is being planned for May 6.