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Farm Boy to open first store in Toronto region

New location in Whitby will be grocery chain's 18th, with more on the way

Ottawa-based fresh market grocer Farm Boy will open its first store in the Greater Toronto Area late this summer.

The 28,000-square-foot location will be in Whitby, a town 40 minutes east of Toronto.

Jeff York, Farm Boy’s president told Canadian Grocer Thursday that the retailer “really wants to get our brand” into the Whitby area, which will also give Farm Boy access to shoppers in the city of Oshawa, next door.

READ: Localize program comes to Toronto

“We want to become part of the community and learn what the community wants,” he said. York added Farm Boy has no immediate plans to open in Toronto itself.

As with Farm Boy’s other stores in Ontario, the Whitby location will emphasize fresh food, organic and HMR. A 50-foot self-serve food bar will be part of the store, with shoppers having the option of taking their meal to go or eating in.

Farm Boy, founded as a lone produce stand in Cornwall, Ont. in 1981, now has 16 stores, most of which are in and around Ottawa.

Over the last several years the company has branched out of the nation’s capital, opening a store in Kingston in 2012, and one in London last June.

A second London store was added last week with a third to open doors in May.

READ: Farm Boy opens second London store

Another four to five stores are to open in Ontario next year, according to officials with the privately held retailer.

Farm Boy’s Whitby store will be located in the north end of the town in the Taunton Gardens outdoor shopping centre. Other mall tenants include a Dollarama, Sport Chek Pet Smart and, for a little while longer, a Target. An LA Fitness is also moving next to the Farm Boy.

York noted that, for the moment, most shoppers in Whitby “don’t know what a Farm Boy is.”

But he pledged to change that soon with “unique pre-opening events to bring the Farm Boy experience to Whitby.”

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