Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Edmonton's Hub Cigar and Newsstand sold to employees

Western Canada's oldest independent newsstand (and, arguably, one of the best in Canada), Hub Cigar and Newsstand in the Strathcona district of Edmonton has been sold to three loyal employees who plan to sell even more magazines there.

A story in the Edmonton Journal reports that owner Ken Knowles is retiring at the age of 75 after 44 years working there. The new owners are Steve Tsang, Don Kung and Steven Cleall.
(Edmonton Journal pic by Ed Kaiser.L to R, Tsang, Kung, Knowles and Cleall.)
"We'd like to get the old sign back up," said Tsang, a 14-year employee, recalling the big, neon Star Weekly sign that was damaged in 2005 by a fire that destroyed the original store on Whyte Avenue between 103rd and 104th streets.

If the old sign can't be repaired, Tsang said, they may build a replica.

Meanwhile, the current location just south of Whyte is marked by Tsang's fenderless Model A hot rod, which is always parked out front.

Though the store reopened soon after the fire, the new owners may advertise more aggressively, Tsang said.

"We still have a lot of people who don't know we're still open or where we are."

Kung, a three-year employee, said they also hope to expand the magazine selection from 6,000 titles to at least 8,000.

Despite the growth of online magazines, Hub retains a loyal clientele and attracts new customers, Kung told the Journal.

"Some people prefer the experience of holding a magazine in their hands, and they know they're welcome to browse or just hang out."


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