LAND AND SEA Features “Country Stores”

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Posted: February 10, 2016

We here at Sea And Be Scene are huge fans of CBC's LAND AND SEA.  They, like us, celebrate Atlantic Canada and we love that about them!

Please tune in this weekend as they will be shining the light on some Country stores still doing business in rural Nova Scotia - one of them just down the road from us in Chester Basin/Gold River! Great to see that part of the province featured.

What follows is the official release from the LAND AND SEA team. SABS

land and sea COUNTRY STORES.

A Sweet Release...

Country stores ‘mainframe’ of rural communities in Nova Scotia – documentary

(Halifax, NS) February 9, 2016 – In an age of big-box stores and online shopping, the country store seems old-fashioned and possibly irrelevant. But a new documentary shows how rural Nova Scotia’s remaining country stores are sometimes the lifeblood of their communities.

Earltown General Store

Country Stores goes behind the counter at five such stores, picking up fascinating stories – one began as a shipbuilding enterprise in the 1830s; another grew out of the peddling adventures of a Lebanese immigrant – and exploring how the entrepreneurs at the helm today continue to adapt to the changing needs of their customers.

“We seem to think we invented the buy-local movement and one-stop shopping, but the original owners of these shops specialized in this – they stocked everything from shoes to kerosene – and would custom order whatever their customers needed,” says Director Vicki Grant.

Frieze and Roy 2

She says the village store brought people together, much like school and church. “It gave them a sense of belonging. The ones remaining still do that,” says Grant.

Country Stores is produced by Halifax-based Creative Atlantic, and was filmed on location across Nova Scotia, including Maitland, Lake Charlotte, Chester Basin and Earltown. It airs this Sunday on CBC TV’s Land and Sea.

Sobey Sode

“It was the predecessor to Walmart … Walmart’s a giant general store,” muses Jamal (Jimmy) Sode Assaf, owner of Sode’s General Store in Chester Basin, founded by his parents after they emigrated from Lebanon. “These guys broke the ground – they had everything in these little stores.”

Meanwhile, a young couple bought the 120-year-old Earltown General Store in 2013 and are breathing new life into it by offering products ranging from freshly baked bread to exotic spices.

Brent Halverson

“We’re creative people, so being able to put our ideas into a place that’s our own, that’s a special opportunity,” says Kayla Conoley, who owns the store with her husband Brent Halverson.

Country Stores makes its television debut this Sunday, February 14 at 12 noon on CBC Television’s Land and Sea.

About Creative Atlantic

Director Vicki GrantCreative Atlantic is passionate about producing meaningful programming for the domestic and international marketplace. Founded in 1989 and based in Halifax, the company’s quest to inspire, entertain and enlighten is evidenced through its compelling roster of documentary, comedy, drama and children’s programming. Its principals are veteran filmmakers Janice Evans and Greg Jones.

Country Stores is also available online. Visit to watch the episode after the broadcast.

Land & Sea is CBC’s 2nd longest running TV series and can be followed on Twitter: @cbclandandsea

Visit Creative Atlantic on Facebook:

Country Stores was produced in association with CBC-TV with funding from Film and Creative Industries Nova Scotia.

 SABS Note of Noteworthineses

While it wasn't mentioned in the episode the centre building of SODE GENERAL STORE was originally built by my great grandfather Essen Swinimer in Gold River, Nova Scotia. He also built the house beside it - in which my father Jack Swinimer was born and raised.  Essen Swinimer ran the store - GranPop's Store as my dad would call it - was a hub of the community back in the day.  The Sode family moved the store down the road (old Highway 3) and into Chester Basin where it remains today. The house

story history

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