When Tiago Voss took a semester break from Acadia University to travel to Europe, he thought he’d see the sights, visit family and return home soon to Wolfville to figure out his future.
“It turned out to be a six-year experience,” he explains. “I found a job in Germany, got an apartment and decided to stay.”
Gradually, Tiago realized he wanted to be an entrepreneur, not an employee, because it meant more independence and creativity, not to mention the ability to provide a living for others. Not ready to come home just yet, he decided to earn a Business Administration Diploma online from NSCC.
“It was perfect for me, not just because of the focus, but also the structure and the fact that I could continue to work and live in Germany while I studied.”
Tiago was impressed with the quality and flexibility of the program. “The way the courses were set up was self-explanatory. I had many great instructors who interacted with me, which made a significant difference.”
His entrepreneurial dreams came true not long after returning to Wolfville; last June, he purchased The Market, a retail store that has catered to Acadia University students for more than 43 years.
“I had been thinking about starting something small when I saw a ‘for rent’ sign in the window. I went in and talked to the owner, Rick Daniels, about it. Luckily, Rick was open to selling and giving a young person a chance to get started. The business is a real landmark and Wolfville is a very supportive community.”
The thought that someone is continuing the business he started delights Rick. “It really needed someone young with new ideas and a willingness to work hard, and Tiago is the guy to do it. He’s smart and motivated, and I think he’ll do very well. I hope it endures for years to come.”
Recently reopened after a major renovation, Tiago has maintained the store’s product mix and unique character while putting a fresh spin on it. Although he has other business ideas he’d like to pursue, his first commitment is to The Market.
“My original plan was to open a café or restaurant, and that may happen eventually. But for now, I’m really excited to be back in Wolfville doing this.”