Shoeless in Mahone Bay

by Kevin Mcbain

  • <p>KEVIN MCBAIN PHOTO</p><p>The Mahone Bay Trading Company shoe store is closing its doors after two decades of serving Mahone Bay and area.</p>
  • <p>KEVIN MCBAIN PHOTO</p><p>The Mahone Bay Trading Company shoe store is closing its doors after two decades of serving Mahone Bay and area.</p>


It's been a cornerstone of Mahone Bay for 20 years, but will soon close its doors.

Located at 544 Main Street since 2000, the Mahone Bay Trading Company shoe store has been on the selling block since January 17, 2020. It's listed at $990.000, down from an original asking price of $1.2 million.

The owner of the store and building, John Bourinot, said that the business has been tough to balance over the years.

"It's super busy during the summer months, but it has been difficult to balance that with the slower winter months. It's a big shoe store," he said in an interview with LighthouseNOW.

"It's been great being a part of the community and it is sad that we have to leave Mahone Bay. I think it's a great town," he added.

According to Duckworth Real Estate's listing, the building consists of more than 11,000 square feet and 12,000 square feet of residential space on the second level.

It also has two lots with over one acre of parking and room to expand. The sale of the building does not include the business.

Bourinot says that it may be easier to sell the property if the commercial space is empty.

He could not give a definitive date for the closure of the store, but said they have a lot of inventory he is hoping to sell before shutting things down.

Bourinot says he will now focus on his two other Mahone Bay Trading Co. locations in Halifax – one in Bayers Lake that opened in 2005, and another store that opened in 2019, in Monaghan Square on Young Street. He also owns the Rieker Shop shoe store, also located in that same area.

Town of Mahone Bay Mayor David Devenne said that it will be a big loss.

"The building has been an anchor for many years," he said. "It's going to be missed. There was a surprising number of people who would come to Mahone Bay just to go to the shoe store. There will be a bit of an adjustment with the shoe store being gone. It will be sad to see it go."

Before the show store took over the Mahone Bay property in 2000, Bill's Variety Store occupied the space. Bourinot continued in the same vane, but focused more on housewares, cards, gift items and shoes.

As word spread of the quality of the shoes offered in his store, he continued to expand his product line until it took over the store.

The store has long been known for its high-quality shoe brands they offer, featuring names like Clarks, Rieker, Josef Seibel and more.

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