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Cover StoriesFortinos - Keeping It Fresh For 60 Years

Fortinos – Keeping It Fresh For 60 Years

Celebrating 60 Years

Fortinos has been at the heart of our communities since 1961 when Italian immigrant John Fortino, my uncle, and his family partners opened their first store in downtown Hamilton. Promising fresh food at competitive prices with excellent service, the business prospered. John’s original motto of “honesty, modesty and hard work” still resonates, even more so today.

I was fortunate to be mentored by my Uncle John during the formative years of the business, learning that important decisions must be rooted in long-term thinking and not short-term quick wins. This philosophy is reflected in our leading-edge 23 supermarkets that cater to the unique demographics across Greater Toronto, Hamilton, Halton and Brampton. As a franchised business under the Loblaw corporate arm, my mission is to lead the evolution of the Fortinos banner, ensuring that our points of differentiation are difficult for competitors to emulate, while enhancing the value proposition of our brand. Continually adding new products, services and concepts reaffirms our commitment to innovation for the sole purpose of building long-term customer loyalty.

Working with vendor partners with the objective of growing the top line has been key to achieving our points of differentiation, at the same time building one of the highest sales-per-square-foot businesses in food retailing. These partnerships continue to be pivotal to Fortinos.

A fresh food hall featuring best-in-class selection of deli meats & cheeses, unparalleled seafood and bakery variety and premium fruits and vegetables is integrated with an emphasis on local and sustainable. Registered Holistic Nutritionists, skilled floral designers, artisan meat cutters, certified baristas, certified cheese experts, culinary chefs along with commitments to fair-trade, organic and plant-based diet preferences all reflect a contemporary, customer-focused approach.

Fortinos’ unique Pane Fresco brand takes ready-to-eat to new heights never before seen in a Canadian supermarket. With a philosophy of “eating well made easy,” Pane Fresco represents a new generation of prepared foods to go. Made by in-house chefs from our Hamilton-based commissary, inspired by classic and contemporary Italian dishes, Pane Fresco, Italian for “fresh bread,” offers over 30 varieties of hand-shaped artisanal breads, premium dinners, giant Roman-style pizzas, rustic pastas, fresh soups and sandwiches. Sit-down cafes, free wifi and good food meet today’s growing need to provide convenience for time-strapped

Tradition is still valued at Fortinos. For example, our signature fresh sausage is prepared with the original, 60-year-old recipe using only Ontario pork shoulder with no additives and preservatives. In line with current tastes and preferences, Fortinos professional butchers offer artisanal cuts, organic and all-natural meat. Trimming and personalized custom preparations are part of everyday service.

Customers and employees come first at Fortinos, with an intrinsic commitment to treat all with respect. Partnering with local non-profits, charity fundraising for kids and community food banks are part of the Fortinos culture and commitment to help build strong, viable communities. A lot has happened in 60 years but the fundamentals remain true to Fortinos — “Your Supermarket with a Heart!”

“Every day, I continue to learn about this crazy business and witness how Fortinos over the years has adapted, challenged, led, participated and constantly improved and creatively presented its food offering to our customers and their families…it has been the true JOY in my LIFE to work with the many dedicated people at Fortinos, my business family.”

Paolo Presutti, senior director, store design

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