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Downeast Trophies Marks 40 Years of Business

Nova Scotia-based shop marks 40 years of business and hopes for 40 more.

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Downeast Trophies, based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, marks 40 years of business this month. The shop has been a consistent provider of trophies for local sports teams, corporate events, and more since its opening.

Mike McGuigan and his father first opened Downeast Trophies together in January of 1979. “I was fresh out of high school and my dad was selling for trophy companies out of Ontario,” McGuigan explains. “He wanted to set something up for himself down the road.” 

McGuigan ran the shop while his father kept his other job, until the shop got too busy for McGuigan to handle himself. From then on, up until McGuigan’s father passed away in 2010, the father and son duo worked together to run the shop. 

His father taught him quite a bit in life, according to McGuigan. “You treat all your customers the same, whether it’s a $5 order coming to the door or a $5,000 order,” he states. “I have customers that have been with me since day one that are still with me.”

Like a one-man band, all matters of the shop are handled by McGuigan, including the buying, taxes, assembly, laser engraving, and even the dishes. “We try really hard and maybe have some good luck,” McGuigan elaborates on its successes. “Some people hate Mondays, but I love coming to work Monday to start my work week.”

Every day is a different challenge, according to McGuigan. “You have to pace your day to balance what needs to be done first and what can wait a day or two. And then you get customers saying, ‘I forgot, I need this tomorrow – can you handle it?’ Yes, we can handle it.”

McGuigan might be the man behind the laser engraving and financials, but there’s another employee that keeps things running smoothly at the shop: Molly, McGuigan’s 14-year-old retriever lab. For the last six years, Molly has come to work with McGuigan and even has her bed in his office. 

McGuigan hopes for another 40 years of Downeast Trophies. If you plan to stop by, be sure to have a treat ready for Molly.

Julia Schroeder

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