Farm Boy opens new flagship store in Ottawa

Empire-owned fresh food retailer has an expanded offering in its biggest store yet

Farm Boy has opened a new 41,000-sq.-ft. store in Ottawa—the grocer’s biggest location to date. The store is located in the city’s Train Yards shopping district, across the parking lot from Farm Boy’s former home.

“We wanted our flagship location to be in Eastern Ontario where has been a household name and connect to Cornwall where the concept started 39 years ago,” said Jean-Louis Bellemare, president and general manager of Farm Boy, in an email interview with Canadian Grocer. “In response to customer demand, we relocated our existing Train Yards store with a goal of delivering a bigger, more innovative and animated store where customers will continue to go for their regular shops or meet up with a friend to have lunch in our expanded chef area.”

With the bigger footprint, Farm Boy was able to expand all departments and feature a greater assortment of items, including 1,200 Farm Boy private-label products. There’s also more room for merchandising. “We are maximizing our merchandise visibility as a result of larger aisles and greater animated displays of our assortment,” said Bellemare.

New features include a food-truck style burger stop that serves up Farm Boy’s burgers and fries, including meatless options. The chef department includes a full-service hot, soup and salad bar, as well as an expanded variety of fresh grab-and-go meals. There’s also a two-level, three-season café—a bump-out area with garage doors and a rooftop terrace. A Bridgehead Coffee kiosk is located in-store.

Farm Boy also introduced a Fresh Order Station kiosk where customers can pre-order from any of the chef stations (The Burger Stop, Farm Boy Pizzeria or Station Grill), and get a text when their order is ready. The idea is that customers can shop the store while their food is being prepared.

The opening of the new Ottawa flagship comes on the heels of two new downtown Toronto stores, which opened earlier this fall. One is a 17,000-sq.-ft. store at College and Bay, while the other is a 27,000-sq.-ft. location near Yonge and Eglinton. “They are both urban-style stores where we offer the same fresh foods and delicious grab-and-go options, with one being a smaller footprint and the other a larger-format store with the full
assortment and offering of products,” said Bellemare.

Farm Boy’s third downtown Toronto location, at Front and Bathurst, is set to open in early 2021. It will be Farm Boy’s 36th store. “As we continue to grow our brand presence throughout Ontario, our target is eight new stores per year with three new locations opening this winter/early spring,” said Bellemare.

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