With its sights set on city residents craving freshly prepared meals, Ontario-based grocery chain Farm Boy has announced plans for seven new stores in the GTA, including locations downtown and in the Yonge and Eglinton midtown neighbourhood popular with millennials.
“We are pretty confident that our concept is going to resonate well with urban dwellers,” co-CEO Jeff York told the Star after the company said Tuesday it would add 10 locations across the province over the next two years.
Including a location that opened last week in Burlington, the new openings will bring the chain’s Ontario store count to 37.
The Cornwall-based grocer, which is now owned by Sobey’s parent Empire Company Ltd., said it will be opening one store in the Niagara region, in addition to two new locations in Ottawa and the seven in the GTA.
York said the company is entering high-traffic urban areas where its farm-fresh produce, butcher quality meats, artisanal cheese, private label specialty products and made-to-order meals are in demand among consumers such as millennials and empty nest boomers.
“People want a lot more prepared foods, so we’re coming up with a solution,” said York.
Food industry analyst Robert Carter said Farm Boy has been successful by capitalizing on a number of consumer trends, such as the demand for fresh local produce. He said it is well positioned under Empire’s ownership to expand in urban markets.
The store count will include a mix of urban and suburban outlets with diverse sizes and formats. In the GTA, new Farm Boy locations include one at College Park, where a 12,000-square-foot outlet is planned, as well a store at Yonge St. and Soudan Ave., where a 28,000-square-foot outlet is scheduled to open in 2020. Farm Boy currently operates two locations in Toronto in the eastern and western peripheries of the city.
Ranging in size from 12,000 to 38,000 square feet, all new stores will feature the company’s core products along with private label specialty products.
The stores will also feature a kitchen with a fresh salad bar, hot bars and a casual restaurant experience that includes pizzas and sushi.
New Farm Boy GTA locations
Location: Burlington (3061 Walkers Line) Opening: Dec. 5, 2019
Location: Newmarket (18075 Yonge St.) Opening: Summer 2020
Location: Toronto (College Park, 777 Bay St.) Opening: 2020
Location: Toronto (2131 Yonge St.) Opening: 2020
Location: Toronto (33 Bathurst St.) Opening: 2020
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Location: Toronto (5245 Dundas St.W.) Opening: 2021
Location: Toronto (740 Dupont St.) Opening: 2021