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Dorchester resident’s Internet-based company to create two dozen jobs in Amherst

As many as 24 jobs could be created in downtown Amherst with the purchase of the former Scotiabank building by an Internet-based company Mrs.Grocery.com.
As many as 24 jobs could be created in downtown Amherst with the purchase of the former Scotiabank building by an Internet-based company Mrs.Grocery.com.

AMHERST, N.S. – Two dozen jobs could be coming to downtown Amherst in the coming months after the purchase of the former Scotiabank building on Victoria Street.

Brett Mason, president of Mrs.Grocery.com and a resident of Dorchester, N.B., confirmed that he and partner Carl Firth of Deal Amusements Ltd. have purchased the former bank building.

Mason said his Internet-based company will use the bank building as its headquarters and the jobs will be for salespeople, design-development staff, public relations and in other areas.

Brett Mason, president of Mrs.Grocery.com and a resident of Dorchester, N.B., confirmed that he and partner Carl Firth of Deal Amusements Ltd. have purchased the former bank building.

Mason said his Internet-based company will use the bank building as its headquarters and the jobs will be for salespeople, design-development staff, public relations and in other areas.

He said there will be a professional video and sound studio in the building as well.

“I launched a dot-com company several years ago and it has just scaled to a point where I need the space. We took at that building and it was well-maintained so we decided to take Mrs.Grocery and move it there,” Mason said.

Mrs.Grocery is a nationwide grocery delivery service that has a team of approximately 60 providing a service to about two million homes across Canada. He plans to begin offering same-day delivery service to small businesses, farmers and producers.

“We’re going to take the farmers market vendors and give them a 24/7 sales window in collaboration with them and give them same day delivery to their customers,” Mason said. “It’s like an Amazon.com but for shopping local.

“The bottom line with this company is we want to make it as easy to shop local as it is to swing into a Walmart. We believe Canadians want better choices in food. Question is why is it easier to get chicken from Thailand than it is from a local chicken farm? If we have chicken farms all around us, but 70 to 75 per cent of our chicken at dinner time is coming from Thailand there’s something wrong with that. It should be the reverse. We want to turn the tables by making it as convenient to shop local. Most Canadians would love to source local product but they have to create those relationships with each and every vendor themselves. What we’re going to do is bring all those small businesses, vendors and farmers together on one collaborative platform at no charge to their business.”

The bank building was vacated in October 2015 when Scotiabank decided to consolidate its Amherst operations at the Amherst Centre branch.

Kate Simandl, from the bank’s public, corporate and government affairs department, said the transaction will close in late March.

“We are very pleased by the sale and are happy to see the building being occupied by a company that will help the community thrive,” Simandl said in an email.

Mason hopes to get into the building in late March to begin transforming it into his company headquarters and he’s hoping to fully operational out of the branch in April or May.

Right now, he has the headquarters at his home in Dorchester, N.B. and his employees work from their own homes.

darrell.cole@tc.tc

Twitter: @ADNdarrell

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