Brenna MacNeil is bringing a chapter of Inverness history back to life. | SaltWire
MABOU – Brenna MacNeil is bringing a chapter of Inverness history back to life. Two-and-a-half years after returning to Cape Breton’s ‘Musical Coast,' ...
David Jala | Posted: 21 hours ago | Updated: 21 hours ago | 8 Min Read The Corner Store by Miss Brenna kicked off its grand opening in Inverness last weekend with an official ribbon-cutting ceremony.| Posted: 27 minutes ago | Updated: 27 minutes ago | 1 Min Read Volleyball.https://www.https://www.
Store owner Brenna MacNeil, centre, smiles as she cuts the ribbon while her nephew Ryder MacLean, second from left, and daughter Lucinda MacNeil, right, hold the ribbon.MacNeil’s niece Kate MacLean, far left, smiles at the camera.S.CONTRIBUTED/BRIAGHA GILLIS - Briagha Gillis STORY CONTINUES BELOW THESE SALTWIRE VIDEOS MABOU – Brenna MacNeil is bringing a chapter of Inverness history back to life.S.Two-and-a-half years after returning to Cape Breton’s ‘Musical Coast,' MacNeil and her husband Brandon are the proud owners of the former coal mining town’s newest business.The tournament will feature eight teams including the host Inverness as well as Bridgetown, Ecole Truro, Hants North, East Antigonish, Sacred Heart School, Annapolis West Education Centre and Ecole NDA of Cheticamp.Just last weekend, they held the grand opening of The Corner Store by Miss Brenna.Please consider joining us in this mission by becoming a member of the SaltWire Network and helping to make our communities better.
The new retail outlet, which MacNeil refers to as a “curated corner store," offers a wide variety of Cape Breton apparel and paper goods, coffee, tea, essential groceries, locally-crafted jewelry and soon-to-come daily baked goods.m.Our 100 journalists strive to inform and improve our East Coast communities by delivering impartial, high-impact, local journalism that provokes thought and action.Its name is derived from both its location and history.The store is situated at the unofficial southern gateway to Inverness where Highway 19 bends to the right before heading up the hill into town.m.The area is known simply as “The Corner." The building dates back to the first half of last century when it housed a store owned by Rory Fraser who passed away in 1950.m.
By the mid-1960s the Fraser family had sold the store to Jack Kennedy who was known to drive his grocery van around Lake Ainslie selling products and supplies to the locals.The store became known as Jack’s Corner Store and was later called the Tommy Cat Bistro.Meanwhile, Ecole NDA will kick things off on Friday at 5:30 p.Over the years, the property was sold several times.The last sale took place in August when the MacNeils purchased the building from Bostonian Rick Umlah.against East Antigonish before battling Sacred Heart School at 8:30 p.“When I was looking for a building, the one that kept getting my attention was the old Jack’s Corner Store,” said MacNeil.
“I feel a very strong connection to The Corner.The club will face Annapolis West Education Centre in their final round robin game on Saturday at 10:30 a.My mom grew up just down the road, my brother and his family live there, my uncles and their families are there.I spent so much time there over my lifetime visiting my grandparents that I grew up knowing almost every person who lived in the neighbourhood.The semifinal matches will be played at 1:30 p.I feel very grateful and comfortable to be at The Corner.” Meet the family behind The Corner Store by Miss Brenna.on Saturday, while the bronze medal and championship games will be held later in the day at 3:30 p.
From left, Brandon, Brenna and Lucinda MacNeil.CONTRIBUTED/JOCELYN JACKSON - Jocelyn Jackson BRICK-AND-MORTAR DREAMS The MacNeils, both native Cape Bretoners, returned to the island from Halifax shortly after the COVID-19 pandemic began in 2020.respectively.Both continued to work remotely.Brenna still does as she is employed by Dalhousie University as a graphic artist.Follow him on Twitter @CBPost_Jeremy.Brandon is now the full-time manager of The Corner Store.
While the new retail outlet opened just days ago, Brenna’s dream dates back many years.Our SaltWire team is always watching out for the place we call home.“It was my dream, but I never knew how I could do it, how I could make it work,” recalled Brenna (neé MacLean), who added that she has been called Miss Brenna for as long as she can remember.The 46-year-old entrepreneur has long carried creative desires.Please consider joining us in this mission by becoming a member of the SaltWire Network and helping to make our communities better.In 2011, she self-published a coffee table art book that she entitled “twentythree." She then moved on to establish a Cape Breton-themed line of clothing, calendars featuring her own photography and other products including cards and photographs of local scenes displayed on a Cape Breton-shaped background.
Over the years, MacNeil sold her works at farmers markets and online.Then, in October 2021, she opted to open a temporary store in Mabou.She ran Miss Brenna’s “pop-up shop” in the old Shining Waters Eatery building until around Christmas.The pop-up was a success and MacNeil started to give serious thought to evolving her business into a full-time brick-and-mortar operation.Many of the same products she sold online, at local craft fairs and at last year’s pop-up shop are now available at the new store located at 15645 Central Ave.
in Inverness.“We wanted to acknowledge the building’s history, but we also wanted to give it a more personal touch so we ended up calling it The Corner Store by Miss Brenna,” she explained.Sirenna Trafford, shown behind the counter during the recent grand opening of The Corner Store by Miss Brenna in Inverness.Trafford, co-owner of Camp Cook’s Cache home-based food business will be operating the kitchen at the new store.CONTRIBUTED/BRENNA MACNEIL - Brenna MacNeil POSITIVE VIBES The official grand opening of The Corner Store took place last Saturday.
For her part, MacNeil said she was overwhelmed with the support and enthusiasm shown by the many people who showed up.Her first customer was Dwayne Beaton, another Inverness County native who spent much of his adult life working away.Beaton returned home several years ago and in 2017, founded Blackstone Construction.Initially, he employed his father and a family friend.Now his company has more than 20 employees.
Beaton, who did much of the renovation work on The Corner Store building, said the MacNeil’s new business is just the latest economic development in a community that has seen many new developments, including the world-renowned Cabot Links and Cabot Cliffs golf courses, over the past decade.“It’s really encouraging,” said Beaton, who spent years travelling west to work in the oil patch.“As a business owner, it’s really great to see new businesses opening and people moving back to the area.There’s lots going on in this area.” Dwayne Beaton was the first customer during recent grand opening of The Corner Store by Miss Brenna in Inverness.
The owner of Blackstone Construction said it’s encouraging to see new businesses being established across the region.CONTRIBUTED/BRENNA MACNEIL - Brenna MacNeil PARTNERSHIPS In the meantime, The Corner Store by Miss Brenna is up and running.Along with all of the products in stock, the store will feature what MacNeil calls “makers and bakers pop-up” events which she introduced last year in her Miss Brenna’s pop-up shop.She has also agreed to rent out the building’s kitchen to Sirenna Trafford, co-owner of Camp Cook’s Cache, a business specializing in dehydrated, outdoor and healthy meals.Trafford will use the kitchen to make products for sale in-store and through her own business’s online shop.
"This partnership is huge for us and we are very much looking forward to the opportunity to grow," said Trafford, who along with partner Graham Blower moved to Cape Breton in 2020, a year after they both graduated from a Business of Outdoor Adventure guiding program in Ontario.For MacNeil, the fortuitous meeting with Trafford came at just the right time.“We were introduced and I am so glad we were — we just hit it off right away," said MacNeil."She does lots of different things and she’ll be baking a daily delight for us.And there will be more.
We have lots of creative ideas up our sleeves.” The Corner Store is open seven days a week until Christmas.The hours are 10 a.m.to 6 p.
m.on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays; 10 a.m.to 8 p.m.
on Thursdays and Fridays; and 10 a.m.to 4 p.m.on Saturdays and Sundays.
Among those on hand during the recent official opening of The Corner Store by Miss Brenna in Inverness were Carol MacKinnon, mother of store co-owner Brenna MacNeil, and longtime family friend Brenda Gillis.Both women are from the part of Inverness known as The Corner.CONTRIBUTED/BRENNA MACNEIL - Brenna MacNeil It has been our privilege to have the trust and support of our East Coast communities for the last 200 years.Our SaltWire team is always watching out for the place we call home.Our 100 journalists strive to inform and improve our East Coast communities by delivering impartial, high-impact, local journalism that provokes thought and action.
Please consider joining us in this mission by becoming a member of the SaltWire Network and helping to make our communities better..
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