Local business news.

Your name in lights

Your attention please! Bright white lights have been sighted on the sidewalk near Erin’s Pub at 186 Water Street at night. The message? ‘Place logo here, 690-9600’.

Gobo Atlantic is the Newfoundland company behind the advertisement.

Rick Cave, VP of operations and marketing, explains the light bulb moment that led him to establish the company: “I was in Spain and I saw fire on the sidewalk, but it was an actual light ad,” he says. “They had the fire to get your attention.”

In lighting design, a ‘gobo’ is a template that’s inserted in front of a light to produce a certain image. In addition to images and logos, templates can create a number of effects—clouds, rain, and even oil spills—all designed to grab attention.

Since its debut, Rick has been meeting with the representatives at city hall and the St. John’s Heritage Committee to talk policy and iron out regulations around using the technology.

Rick is optimistic that gobos will find a place in the metro. “People don’t think or pay attention to [billboards] anymore. But when you see the light, it gets your attention,” he says.

For more information visit


Growing up, moving out

Parent-run preschool The Children’s Centre is leaving its home at 40 Golf Avenue for a larger space. Parent and board member Chris Driedzec says the new venue, the former Tiny Tots Preschool space at St. Mary’s Church on Cornwall Crescent, will allow for twice the programming offered now.

“We’ll be able to run our nursery and pre-school programs in both mornings and afternoons. And hopefully more families will want to join us,” says Driedzec.

The centre has been educating the two to five year old set since 1968 (a whole year before Big Bird set roost on Sesame Street). Daily sessions are fixed around a child’s sense of play, says Driedzec, incorportating music, storytelling and make believe.

For information on The Children’s Centre and January enrolment, visit


Smoke on Water

Mary Jane’s Smoke Shop is an Eastern Canadian smoke and novelty chain, and Scott Doucette is its owner. As a snowboarder on the BC professional circuit in the early 90s, Scott met cannabis activist and Hemp BC storekeeper, Marc Emery and fell under his tutelage. But it would take a sports injury before Scott would try his own hand at business.

“I came home to Halifax and ended up opening up a skate/snowboard shop, and at the same time opened Mary Jane’s. I put the two together—a sort of skater/snowboard culture store.”

Since then, the Halifax Mary Jane’s has cast out the boarding gear and sticks mostly to smoke paraphernalia. Music has also found a way into the shop, as Doucette is a partner in a recording label called Change The Game Recording.

Doucette sees a lot of potential for business here in Sin City.

“We had so many people coming over from Newfoundland to our Halifax store saying, ‘you need to open up a Mary Jane’s in St. John’s!’ I’ve been on the hunt for several years and I finally found the right location.”

Mary Jane’s Smoke Shop is located at 174 Water Street. Call 726-0100 for more information.


Murray Premises: 30 years young

Dell Texmo, owner of home and kitchenware store Living Rooms, is recognizing a 30-year milestone at the Murray Premises this month.

“There was a bit of drama back then because the Murray Premises was going to be knocked down,” remembers Texmo.

The building—St. John’s oldest fishery warehouse—was in poor repair. The Newfoundland Historic Trust and the St. John’s Heritage Foundation worked together to save the building from destruction.

The newly-restored Premises reopened on November 30th, 1979.

To celebrate, on Saturday, December 5th, Texmo and Living Rooms will be hosting a day of holiday fun. Eric White will be facilitating a holiday decorating workshop (11am-1pm), followed by an in-store ornament signing by Mummer’s the Word artists Cara Kansala and Pam Dorey (2pm-4pm). A week later, on December 12, the store will be throwing a party with giveaways and cake cutting. All are welcome. For details call 753-2099.

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