End of an era: Wolfville mainstay The Market sold after 43 years

Wendy Elliott
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Pain has caused Rick Daniels, a fixture in Wolfville’s downtown, to sell his business, The Market, after 43 years.

“I used to be a party animal,” he says. “Now, I’m an old guy.”

Two injuries to one foot, the latest in February, have made Daniels feel as if he is “walking on nails. So I decided I’m gonna get out.”

Daniels sold the shop to a young Wolfville native, Tiago Voss, and along with his wife, Michelle, Daniels is retiring. The deal goes through June 14.

“I’ve had a great relationship with my suppliers and my clients,” Daniels says of the head shop he opened in 1971. He recalls wondering, at the time, if it would last longer than a month.

But luck was with the young couple. They had no backing and lived in the rear of the store, without central heating or hot water. Yet, eight years later, they were able to purchase the building, which now contains three businesses.

In 1985, the headline of an article in the Kings County Advertiser newspaper suggested The Market showed surprising longevity after being open for 15 years.

In those days, he said, there were no craft markets or flea markets and there were no young people in business in Wolfville. Daniels carved out a niche selling what young people wanted to buy. Not surprisingly, his biggest customer group is Acadia University students.

Everyone from local youth to visiting tourists have seemed to appreciate his style of shop keeping. Daniels is often found casually chatting on the sidewalk accompanied by Hector, one of a series of Doberman dogs he’s owned.

 

Vibrant downtown

Daniels terms Wolfville’s downtown as vibrant.

“There’s rarely a gap. In the early 90s, there was a shift. The biggest change has been the growth in coffee shops.”

He thinks a moment, and adds, “Retail has stayed strong. The growth in bars was not as dramatic, but when we came there were none.”

He believes the local mindset is far more open and more inviting today, although Daniels recalls the warmth of Al Whittle and the late Doug Cochrane.

Vehicle traffic passing by his door on Main Street, Daniels says, is probably three times what it was 40 years ago.

“It’s insane. Everybody drives,” he says. “I’m going to miss the hum of the downtown, especially in the fall when the college opens.”

 

Injury prompts retirement

Until recently, he was active biking and playing handball. Daniels says nerve damage can transform a lifestyle in a split second. Now he doesn’t feel able to put on a brave face.

“I get lots of sympathy,” he adds, “but it doesn’t help.”

Daniels misses his younger self, the other Rick who went into business when Pierre Trudeau talked about legalizing marijuana.

“Now his son (Justin Trudeau) is making the same promise.”

Organizations: Acadia University

Geographic location: Wolfville, Kings

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Recent comments

  • Chris Chisholm
    July 18, 2014 - 06:49

    Rick! Man - it's been too long! Sorry to hear about the pain - and the retirement! Man - I'm going to give you a call. Just getting back to Canada in a couple days n' will take a trip down the valley!

  • Ahmed Nassar
    June 15, 2014 - 07:16

    Hi Rick, Man did we have some great Bball games back in the day at Acadia with you! May the pain be managed and may you enjoy your retirement! You have contributed much and will be sorely missed. Lotsa love brother.

  • Ethan Bent
    June 15, 2014 - 01:40

    What a true Wolfville legend. Rick and his great store are a fantastic example of the richness in character we have in the Valley!

  • Natalie
    June 14, 2014 - 21:04

    Spent a lot of my teen years rifling through T-shirts or thumbing through albums there. Always felt welcome, which was a nice feeling when I was oozing with teenage angst. I remember Rusty the doberman, back then, and the story of how that dog got his name. Sad to see Rick is leaving the store, but hope the new owners can carry on the good vibe.

  • Robert McCarthy
    June 14, 2014 - 11:25

    The Market was awesome! Great memories...

  • Dezzerae
    June 14, 2014 - 10:48

    its not gonna be the same with out you rick where all gonna miss you like crazy

  • mom
    June 13, 2014 - 22:59

    article on Rick

  • Janean tucker
    June 13, 2014 - 20:19

    Wow can't believe Rick is selling The Market.. It's been a few yrs since i lived up in Wolfville and was always in there... We'll miss ya man hope the pain can be managed know what pain can do to a person..

  • Christina Pick
    June 13, 2014 - 18:56

    Wow! Spent so much time there over the years. Sad, but such is life.

  • Cindy
    June 13, 2014 - 17:36

    G'day Rick! Not sure if you would even remember me. I find this sad news indeed. Although I haven't been around Wolfville in years, you are and will always be one of my fondest memories. I loved your store, your wife, your dogs and you. Next time I am in Wolfville will not be the same. I will stop into your store, I promise that, but it will be to say "So long", even though you won't be there to hear it. My hope for you is that you enjoy your retirement. And maybe someday our paths will cross again. Best of luck in your next stage Rick.

  • Cindy
    June 13, 2014 - 17:34

    G'day Rick! Not sure if you would even remember me. I find this sad news indeed. Although I haven't been around Wolfville in years, you are and will always be one of my fondest memories. I loved your store, your wife, your dogs and you. Next time I am in Wolfville will not be the same. I will stop into your store, I promise that, but it will be to say "So long", even though you won't be there to hear it. My hope for you is that you enjoy your retirement. And maybe someday our paths will cross again. Best of luck in your next stage Rick.

  • Candace
    June 13, 2014 - 11:07

    Wow! Huge news! The Market seems like a timeless fixture in Wolfville. Rick will be sorely missed! I hope he finds a way to cope with the terrible pain of nerve damage.