Trainyard Transparency

Every time you spend your hard earned money you are voting for the world you want to live in. It's a little cheesy, but also the truth - it's a vote of confidence for your beliefs. 
Owning a business is a responsibility and it is important that we share what that vote looks like at The Trainyard. 


  • Our staff team is paid a minimum of $15 an hour
  • Everyone has paid sick & Mental Health Days, no questions asked.
  • Owner pay is comparable to the highest paid employee.
  • Membership to Carbon Neutral Club for each employee; Carbon footprint offset
  • Staff participate in (paid) planning meetings for the business, have a say in what happens and the direction of events, inventory and Covid-19 policies. 
  • Staff have access to Emergency Fund to cover unexpected expenses. 

Trainyard Connect

This is our Community Giving, and our committment to donate 5% of profits annually. We have pledged to donate a minimum of $2,000 each to our six Trainyard Connect Partners before 2022 is over.  
As of May 16, 2022 we have:
  • Donated approximately $450 in products to local auctions and giveaways. 
  • Donated $2484 in goods to two of our Community Partners, partially as general supplies for their space, and the majority as part of a Spring Party Event*
  • We planned and hosted a *Spring Party for Alice House, in partnership with local Makers and small businesses, with gifts for guests and activities for kids. 
  • Our team has contributed over 40 volunteer hours to our Community Partners: making beds & preparing bedrooms; preparing and sorting donations; hosting the Spring Market. 
  • Plans are underway to offer gifts to 125 youth from another local non-profit organizations before the end of June. 
  • We have not yet donated 5% of profits to our Community Partners, the bulk of the cash donations happen in the second half of the year as January-June cash-flow is much tighter.


We work directly with Canadian makers & small businesses, occasionally with Canadian distributors for books or bigger brands.

  • 98% of goods in store are purchased direct from makers & small businesses located in Canada. Makers are paid up front for their work, typically ~50% of the sale price for items. Goods sourced from outside of Canada are purchased from B Corps, 1% for the Planet or companies with similar levels of commitment to the environment, community & producing goods not readily available from a Canadian brand.
  • 85% of goods sold are manufactured in Canada, all are purchased from Canadian owned small businesses. At the scale many small brands operate not all items can be manufactured in Canada (ex. enamel pins and key chains). 
  • For our custom products (puzzles, socks, t-shirts) we source the blank materials and production in Canada; Our custom puzzles and socks are designed locally and manufactured in Canada. Shirts are manufactured in Canada and printed in Dartmouth. 
  • We are committed to have a minimum of 30% of goods from businesses run by BIPOC or 2SLGBTQIA+ Entrepreneurs by 2023. As of September 15, our 2022 wholesale ordering sits at 24.5% representation. 
  • In-store supplies: Purchased locally from Cookes (slat wall, paper bags, tissue) & Greenii Inc (paper bags), whenever possible; When not an option we use Staples, and when necessary Amazon & Wal-Mart.


  • Banking: Currently with a 'Big' Bank, working on alternatives that work with our circumstances. 
  • Insurance: Local broker, national chain;
  • Building: Our location is leased & locally managed.
  • POS & Website: Canadian company


We pay taxes, lots of taxes!

  • 2022 estimated GST/HST tax payment is over $20,000; This is where we pay the tax collected on sales, less the tax we paid on the inventory ordered. 
  • 2022 estimated payroll tax payment is over $12,000; This is where we pay tax on our employee wages, including Worker's Compensation Fees. 
  • Where we lease our space we aren't directly responsible for Property Taxes, but our rent does increase with changes to property taxes in the area. 

Wondering why we share these details? 

The most repeated adage of the pandemic has been to shop local and support small businesses. It has helped businesses like mine survive, but it also puts small businesses on a pedestal. No business is perfect, small or big box and I would never pretend that mine is perfect, or that we have always done things in the most ideal way. It's a journey and a learning process every day, and sometimes we get it right, and sometimes we fail big. 

I'm sharing this information today, because I believe part of the responsibility of having a business, is to be transparent about operating policies. As consumers you have a right to know where your money is going, and how it will impact your community, the environment, and the workers creating the goods. 

Interested in more information about the impact of shopping local? A few years back there was a big push to shift just 10% of your purchases to locally run businesses, and here's some information on the impact that can have. Here's more information with a PEI perspective on the impact a 10% increase in support for local businesses could have. 

Looking for Action Steps? More Information? 

Here in NS we are stuck between elections right now and it's easy to feel powerless or unclear what the next step is but there's always action. 
  • Did you know that business parks often have lower taxation rates than small business districts? That recently changed here in HRM - thanks to advocacy by many smaller business districts and action from City Council.
  • Support businesses whose values align with yours. If you see a business (big or small) trying to pay a living wage, consider offering them their support when you can. Grocery stores made record profits and clawed back their pandemic bonuses - we know they can do better, so call upon them to do so! 
  • Learn how taxes work in this country. Whose paying, what percentage of their income are they paying? What incentives are being given? To whom? 


Send them my way! It was hard to break this down in a way that is truthful, logical and easy to follow. If you operate a small business, or hope to - please let me know if you have questions I can help with. 

Sending love always! 



This is an older graphic we made but gives an idea of where your dollars go when shopping at The Trainyard. You can also view this document for a more visual take on this information. 

A graphic with blue text bubbles outlines many of the details on spending outlined in the above text.