Fresh City Farms is adding Prepd meal-kit customers into the fold.
Prepd, which was founded in 2014, approached the grocery retailer about joining forces, says Fresh City founder Ran Goel. “They’ve been a bit of a pioneer in this space and have a very loyal subscriber group,” he says.
Toronto's Fresh City has been in the meal-kit business since 2015, when it acquired meal-kit company Fresh Canteen. It sells a range of all-organic meal kits, including gluten-free and vegan kits online and in stores. The company also has a big environmental focus and uses reusable ice packs, bags, coolers and pouches, which are picked up weekly.
“ really liked the idea of the reusable component of our kits... as well as the organic and local sourcing component,” says Goel, who was one of Canadian Grocer‘s 2016 Generation Next Award winners. “And similar to us, they are very -focused, so it was kind of like all the stars aligned.”
Fresh City launched as an urban farm and online grocer in 2011, and has been growing on all fronts. It expanded into bricks-and-mortar retail in 2018 with the opening of a 600-sq.-ft. store on Roncesvalles Ave. and a 2,000-sq-.ft. store on Ossington Avenue in Toronto.
In April 2019, Fresh City announced the purchase of Mabel’s Bakery & Specialty Foods and its four Toronto stores. The original Fresh City location closed and its offerings were moved over to a Mabel’s store on Roncesvalles.
A month later, the grocer announced it had acquired The Healthy Butcher–an organic meat retailer that has two Toronto locations.
Goel says Fresh City is planning to open a 5,000-sq.-ft. retail location at Bay and Gerrard streets in downtown Toronto in early 2020. Another location is also in the works.
On the online side, “we’re working on upping our game on that front as well, so you’ll see some pretty major changes to that platform over the course of 2020,” says Goel. With additional SKUs from Mabel’s and Healthy Butcher, as well as other grocery SKUs, Goel says Fresh City’s online channel is becoming a destination for a full grocery shop for natural food-focused customers.