DIGBY, NS – The Wharf Rat Rally brings people to Digby in the name of motorcycles and also brings bounds business to local stores.
One such store is Recardo's Convenience, owned by Leo Zakhour.
On Sept. 1 he was set up with a barbeque cooking and selling sausages and hotdogs to hungry wharf rats while his wife Evelyn and other employees passed out ice cream and other goodies inside the store to those needing to cool off.
“The profits we make during Wharf Rat Rally are huge. It’s a great thing for Digby, does great things for our town and my business," he said.
Recardo's is a popular spot over the spring, summer and fall months.
It's a place where people enjoy a cup of coffee or an ice cream cone as they walk around Digby's downtown.
When Wharf Rat comes to town, people of all ages flood the store.
“Ice cream, frozen yogurt, soft serve, and slushies are popular with the kids,” said Zakhour.
“Smokes, chips, coffee and party things are more for the parents.”
But the winter is a slower season after tourists leave and people remain inside their homes, fighting off the cold.
He describes how the businesses uptown in Digby draw people away from the downtown during the colder months.
"The money we make over the wharf Rat Rally weekend allows us to survive the slower winter season," said Zakhour.
"We wouldn’t make it through the winter without it."
Watching Wharf Rat grow
Recardo’s has been open since before the Wharf Rat Rally had its start in 2004.
Over those thirteen years, Zakhour has seen it grow, and the business it brings with it.
He says this year has already been better than most.
"We've definitely noticed more people this year," he said.
The noise from all the motorcycles doesn’t bother Zakhour – it’s the sound of a successful weekend rounding the corner.
“This rally is the best thing that’s ever happened to Digby,” he said.