Longo’s has opened a new store in the popular and vibrant neighbourhood of Liberty Village in downtown Toronto.
The location is a first of its kind for Longo’s, as it debuts its collaboration with Toronto craft brewery, Amsterdam Brewing Co. and gourmet coffee brand, Jacked Up Coffee.
The urban neighbourhood is a popular live-and-work area for many that features an architectural signature blending the old with the new.
The 23,000 sq ft grocery location features a grocerant-type space with seating for 150 people. The locale is also a Grocery Gateway same-day pickup spot. Shoppers can also order ahead with Ritual or receive prepared meals through Uber Eats straight to their doors.
Shoppers are greeted by a smoothie bar and an old-style food truck serving Jacked Up coffee.
What is particularly interesting in the eating area is how Longo’s has managed to blend the feel of a trendy urban restaurant with that of a sports bar. Alongside the brewery bar is a European style “Salumi and Formaggi” offering and a large television screen. Longo’s Corks Beer and Wine will also be serving up specialty wine and prosecco cocktails to guests. Behind the television screen is a mural that takes up most of the east wall of the area. The painting was done by art students at OCAD University.
Rosanne Longo, who sat down with Grocery Business to discuss the new store, says the mural reflects Longo’s tradition of working with local communities.
“We have a tradition of working with local communities. Local for us also is part of our sustainability focus, something Longo’s has been focused on since 1956 when we opened our first store. It’s just that the name “sustainability” wasn’t used then but it has always been and continues to be a pillar in our CSR.”
For instance, Longo’s has always worked with local farmers for sourcing and has a policy of “buy local first” which means that approximately 75% of is produce and 65% of its meat are locally sourced.
“We’ve worked with the same farmers since the beginning and now the third generation of Longo’s working the business are working with the third generation of family farmers and together we’re exploring new ideas for sustainability.
Living-wall like designs around the produce area, and prominent signage throughout the store highlight different sections such as dairy, bakery, deli and kitchen.
The Longo’s Kitchen features freshly made hot meals, including rotisserie chicken, soup and salads located near the front of the store to address the needs of busy consumers who look for convenience and ease-of-use when purchasing meals.
Longo says there is more to come as the store continues to innovate to make it not just a grocery store, but a destination for people.
“We’re looking at getting a liquor license so our guests can enjoy Amsterdam beer while they shop.”