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Still looking for gifts for people on your list? The local shops of the Third have you covered.



“We start getting ready for Christmas the day after Christmas. The week we are back we start talking about our wins and misses and we start looking for what you are going to want next year,” says Natalie Maglario, owner of Emerald Isle on Welton Street in Sydney and E2 in the Mayflower Mall.


She says that her shop offers “global brands at your fingertips that eliminates having to shop online for unique and sought-after brands.” Swarovski, Pandora, and Hillberg & Berk are customer favourites.


And with 30 years of practice under her belt, Maglario knows what her customers want. She has been carefully curating products for her customers for three decades.


“We started as a gift store thirty years ago, which was gift and jewelry, we evolved into gift, jewellery, and clothing 25 years ago, and with the addition of the season shop it gave us more square footage for Christmas and seasonal merchandise.


The Welton Street store offers a massive selection of top, exclusive brands.


The seasonal shop on Welton Street is filled with unique gifts at all price points. Maglario has distinct ornaments on hand that can be given a custom and personalized look by having a handwritten message added by Maglario or her staff.



E2 at the Mayflower Mall offers longer business hours than the Welton Street shop and has its own unique collection that reflects the wants and needs of mall shoppers.


For Maglario, the mall location brings her back to the early days of Emerald Isle. E2 is located next to the original location of her first Emerald Isle store. “I started at the mall next door to where E2 is today.  I’m back where I started 30 years ago.”


Like Maglario, Scott MacVicar of Spinner’s Men’s Wear prides himself on providing people with unique, exclusive, high-end products.


“We carry some Brands, including new ones, that you can’t get anywhere else [on the island].”


Unique Canadian brands, such as Au Noir founded in 2009 in Montreal, and Lief Horsens, also of Quebec, can only be found at Spinner’s. Au Noir’s goal is the create sophisticated clothing for the modern man. Lief Horsens’ mission is to combine classic styles, modern cuts, and innovative materials – manufactured with the lowest possible environmental impact – to create a timeless and sustainable style.


MacVicar is also proud of the quality of the products he carries and the service his store provides.


“The biggest thing is that we carry a product that is scrutinized, the quality is there, people rely on our quality and our prices are very competitive. People get their full dollar that they spend here.


“When you get to know your customer, you know what they like, what colours they like,” says MacVicar. “These are relationships, and they make further purchases easy too.


“We also bring in specialty items for customers who find it challenging to find appropriate clothes for their body,” says MacVicar. He takes measurements to ensure that when the product arrives it fits, alleviates stress, and puts a needed smile on his customers’ faces.

He also ensures that his shop carries a good selection of offerings that will appeal to all his customers.


“We have always taken care of our customers,” he says. “That is what makes us excited, serving the people of Cape Breton and throughout Canada. We have customers throughout Canada, we even have customers in BC. They are people who once lived here.”


That care goes back more than a century. The store opened in 1908 and has had two family owners that have passed through four generations. Generations of shoppers have come through the door and MacVicar either remembers them directly or indirectly through the stories he remembers his dad, Sterling, telling him through the years.


If you are looking for something for kids or those who like the whimsy and sustainability, you should check out La Quaintrelle.


La Quaintrelle doesn’t have the history of Spinner’s or Emerald Isle, but it does have a store filled with unique, one-of-a-kind items great for Christmas gifts that have been chosen by store owner, Meghan Finney.

La Quaintrelle is an independent boutique and emporium in North Sydney offering products that are Canadian, hand, and thoughtfully made. The shop prides itself on having a little something for everyone to help us live a life of passion expressed through personal style, leisurely pastimes, charm, and life’s little pleasures.

Finney and her staff are passionate about sustainability, encouraging young entrepreneurship and personal expression through craft.

Emerald Ilse is located at 337 Welton Street. E2 is in the Mayflower Mall.


Spinner’s Men’s Wear is at 329 Charlotte Street in Sydney


La Quaintrelle is located at 258 Commercial Street in North Sydney.

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