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Farm Boy leaps west with new store


Farm Boy, the Ottawa grocery chain whose focus is fresh departments and prepared foods, opened a new store this week in Kingston, Ont.

The store, Farm Boy's 13th, marks a westward expansion of sorts for the privately held chain. All of its other stores, save for one in Cornwall, Ont., are situated in the metro Ottawa area.

The new store, which opened Oct. 2, is 24,000 square feet.

Noteworthy features include a 24-foot salad bar, barista coffee bar, in-store seating and an area serving hot meals for take-out.

"Our niche is fresh, wholesome foods and customer service. That's what we've been doing since 1981 and that's what we'll continue to do," Farm Boy CEO Jeff York said.

York, a former executive with Giant Tiger, took over as CEO of Farm Boy in late 2009 when the retailer had fewer than 10 stores. At the time, York said that Farm Boy would continue to open more stores in and around Ottawa but he also thought Farm Boy's format could work in other Ontario cities.

"We're looking at replicating what we do in Ottawa in other parts of Ontario where the demographics are right and where there's demand. I see there are about three potential spots that we can do what we're doing in Ottawa," he told Canadian Grocer in mid-2010.

Though York cited Kingston as one of those markets, at the time he did not name the other cities that Farm Boy might open in.

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