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Industry NewsLongo’s opens 37th Ontario store in Whitby

Longo’s opens 37th Ontario store in Whitby

Longo Brothers Fruit Market has opened its 37th store located in the north Whitby community of Brooklin.

Members of the Longo family and dignitaries including from left: Joey Longo, Gus Longo, Rosanne Longo, Mitch Hamelin, assistant store manager; Deb Craven, Longo’s president; Vince Piligra, store manager; Mike Longo, Whitby Mayor Elizabeth Roy and Anthony Longo
Longo’s traditional “ribbon cutting” ceremony is taking a bite out of an apple. Seen here are members of the Longo family, local officials and Longo’s president Deb Craven at bottom far right in white jacket, crouching
Mitch Hamelin, assistant store manager and produce manager, Deb Craven, Longo’s president, and Vince Piligra, store manager

The store design and layout are modified when compared to other Longo’s stores to facilitate a more friendly shopper experience. For example, the produce department off the entrance of the store is designed as a Farmer’s Market concept featuring branded Longo’s boxes, skids and other interesting displays for various fruit and vegetables.

“We’ve never taken a one-size fits all approach to new store openings, and instead commit ourselves to ongoing and continual improvement with each and every location,” says Deb Craven, President, Longo’s. “Everything from our unique activations, custom offerings, design, layout, and decor – all have a custom touch to reflect the community we’re operating in.”

The 45,000+ sq ft store features several first for the Ontario chain and new design features that store manager Vince Piligra, and assistant store manager Mitch Hamelin, say are designed to enhance the customer shopping experience.

HMR made easy. The home meal replacement department is situated directly by the entrance of the store, a change from previous locations where produce was first. The extensive quick-meal solutions and grab-and-go options are all Longo private label. In fact, Longo private label offerings are evident throughout the store in virtually every category, including fresh and frozen pizzas, meats, seafood, breads, sweets and deli products

A snacking twist. Longo’s has integrated its bulk snack offerings into the snack aisle instead of having a separate island to make it easier for customers to find both packaged and bulk snacks. So bulk foods are stocked alongside packaged snacks, anchored by Longo’s private label offerings.

Beverage aisle revamp. The beverage aisle has a full aisle of water with soft drinks taking up only a half side of the aisle. “Years ago, this would have been reversed but we’ve adjusted our offerings as our guests’ tastes for beverages have changed,” says Piligra.

Confectionary shelving. All of the products are stocked on spring loaded shelving, which makes it easier for rotation and more accessible for customers.

Focus on quality, in-house and local

The new store has placed a big focus on ensuring its grocery offerings, from fresh produce, pasta, meats and seafood to frozen foods, cheese and deli, are of the highest quality, prepared in-store and sourced locally. In fact, close to 70 per cent of its produce is sourced in Ontario with mushrooms as an example being sourced from growers only 15 minutes away from the store. And 100 per cent of the chicken and pork are sourced locally. Customers can have customized cuts of meat prepared by a butcher. In seafood, Longo’s offers customers the option of steaming live lobster in store and has seafood delivered fresh daily. Breads and bakery items are also baked daily in-store. Even all of its coffee bean offerings are roasted locally and delivered to the store.

Gus Longo in 1968
Longos co-founder Gus Longo with daughter Rosanne Longo at the store opening
Longo’s “super fans” from left Elizabeth Beech, Dana Robitaille and Sally Ryba with Rosanne Longo. The three woman are local Brooklin kindergarten teachers who came out to support the families of their students who work at Longo’s.

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