TRANSFORMATION: Digging out from a mine closure: Sussex gives itself a shake and tries new things – by Connell Smith (CBC News New Brunswick – July 16, 2018)

Southern New Brunswick town lost 1,000 jobs almost overnight when PotashCorp pulled out

Uwe Fiehn has a numbers problem. Despite a fairly steady stream of lunch-time customers exclaiming over the pastries and European breads, the owner of the Country Home Bakery knows a lot more people should be stopping in.

“Every day we need 100 to 110 customers, then you have a very good business,” Fiehn said. “If you have 80 customers every day, that’s also perfect. “But we have at the moment just 50 to 55, you know?” Fiehn and his wife, Linda, bought the property in Sussex Corner, outside Sussex, in August 2015.

1,000 jobs gone

Five months later, PotashCorp delivered the shattering news to Sussex and surrounding communities that it was closing its mine in nearby Penobsquis.

The closure left this south central area of New Brunswick in shock and uncertainty. And estimated 1,000 good jobs vanished as people in supporting industries joined mineworkers in the ranks of the unemployed.

With the community still reeling, the Fiehns decided to press ahead with their new bakery anyway. In March 2016, they swung wide the doors to the Main Street bakery, which offers a seating area for coffee and light lunches. For a while, as people stopped to check the place out, things went well, but business has dropped off.

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