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Moncton’s My Home Mercantile Sold

By Sam Macdonald Mar 1, 2023 | 12:24 PM

The new owner of a Moncton gift shop has been one of the chain’s biggest fans since its launch.

Stefanie MacDonald, founder of Halifax Paper hearts and owner of Kept Gifts & Housewares in Dartmouth, has taken over the reins of the Moncton location of My Home Mercantile. MacDonald bought the business from Miriah Kearney and has renamed it Kept on Main.

“When Miriah told me that she was thinking about selling her Moncton location, I could see so clearly that there was an opportunity to carry her legacy forward using a proven and beloved brand that has tremendous potential for growth,” said MacDonald.

“Miriah has built a strong customer base that I know will fall in love with Kept and all it has to offer.”

The purchase and takeover come a little more than a month after Kearney put the downtown retail shop at 805 Main Street up for sale.

MacDonald, whose specialty is greeting cards, said she and Kearney both got their start wholesaling products to small boutiques across Canada. The two met while selling their wares at an outdoor North by Night Market in 2016, in Halifax.

“We have travelled to a number of wholesale shows together, including [the CanGift Toronto Gift Fair] and the National Stationery show in New York, over the years, building our respective businesses,” MacDonald said.

While the sale is only of the store’s assets, MacDonald, who is based in Halifax, will keep all four of My Home Mercantile’s Moncton-based staff members on payroll in a bid to keep things consistent.

“We have asked them to inject some of their ideas and personality into the business that we’re creating,” she said.

She will also incorporate a wider assortment of gifts into Kept’s Moncton location, including home décor, and nautical-themed goods.

MacDonald said she’s dedicated to preserving the personality My Home Mercantile built over the years. She noted that the Moncton store will not be “a carbon copy of our Dartmouth Store.”

“Each store is built to the needs of its own community and has its own unique needs and energy,” said MacDonald.

“We know that the needs of the customers and team here are different and unique – and we are excited to learn from the New Brunswick team to ensure that we delight our customers with products that locals will love.”

MacDonald wouldn’t say how much she paid for the assets she bought from Kearney. However, she said Kept’s expansion will be smooth thanks to the team and existing systems in place – like ordering, receiving, customer service, and marketing.

MacDonald will also maintain the business’ social enterprise presence in the city. She will participate in several of the charitable initiatives Kearney had supported, like People for Animal Wellbeing, Harvest House, Crossroads for Women, Youth Impact Jeunesse, United Way of Greater Moncton and Southeastern NB, Literacy NB, the YWCA, and local food banks.

When Kearney put the business up for sale in January, she said there was a range of people interested from the beginning.

“Everyone’s like, ‘Oh no, it’s my favourite store,’ and ‘I really hope someone continues to do that.’ It makes me really happy to see how much people love the business and how much it means to them,” Kearney said.

Kearney said she was thrilled when MacDonald expressed interest.

“When Stefanie reached out expressing interest, I was thrilled. She not only has an amazing eye for curation, but she is organized, she has the team-building skills, and she has a remarkable vision that running this store will take,” Kearney added.

While MacDonald is taking over the Moncton shop, Kearney is still in charge of the first My Home Mercantile location she opened in Truro.

MacDonald took over ownership of the Dartmouth-based Kept in October 2021 after the previous owner sold after eight years in business.

“I absolutely loved the business and wanted to be the one to carry its legacy forward. Buying that business has been the best decision I have ever made,” said MacDonald.

“I got to challenge myself creatively and help people to support local artists, makers and community.”

MacDonald launched Paper Hearts as a side business in August 2015. Since then, she’s grown the wholesale business to almost 300 locations across Canada.

In a previous interview with Huddle, Kearney said her plan to sell the Moncton location was a bid to redouble her focus on the Truro location and is poised to launch a hospitality business in the same town.

“When I decided to sell [the Moncton location], I dreamed that the new owner would share a similar vision with beautiful, curated products and keep up the amazing staff on board,” Kearney said.

MacDonald was one of several tire-kickers who contacted Kearney last month, many of whom were already running similar businesses.

My Home Mercantile’s Moncton footprint opened in 2018, specializing in curated products made in Canada from more than 100 unique Canadian makers and creators.

Sam Macdonald is a Reporter for Huddle Today, a content-sharing partner of Acadia Broadcasting.


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