Time catches up to Halifax tobacco shop after 150 years

After 150 years of selling tobacco in Halifax, Sievert’s Ltd. on Barrington Street will close its doors later this year.

The business began shutting down in the fall, but the owner says they will be open for about a month longer as they continue to sell off the rest of their stock.

“The way things are nowadays when it comes to tobacco and stuff like that, there’s a lot of negativity about it when it comes to people smoking and the vaping and all the different things happening with [cannabis],” said Craig Sievert.

“Things in this business aren’t exactly going up, so you have to move along.”

Sievert’s great-grandfather started the business in 1870. The store has been at its current location on Barrington Street since 1906.

Sievert says he’s the fourth generation to run the family business.

Sievert’s Ltd. has been at its current location on Barrington Street since 1906. (Stephanie Clattenburg/CBC)

“I got to work with my dad for about 16 years,” he said.

“It was an enjoyable time, I got to be with dad all the time and we got along great.”

Sievert is now retiring and said there’s no one to take on the business.

“I have a son that’s 30, he’s more the health care side of things,” he said. “He likes the tobacco business but didn’t want to do this. I certainly never pushed him.”

While the decision to close wasn’t easy, Sievert said it also wasn’t sudden.

There is no official closing date, but he said they’re now down to 43 cigars when they previously carried thousands.

“Every day gets a little closer to the finish,” Sievert said.

The tobacco store in Halifax has been open since 1870. (Sievert’s Ltd/Facebook)

He owns the building and says he eventually plans to sell it.

He said he isn’t sad about closing up shop just yet.

“I will be more so when it’s all over, but at the moment I’m looking forward to the end of it,” he said.

“I want to try something different. It’s different to go home early in the day and have the day to do different things.”


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