Healthy Planet's growth spurt

Ontario-based health and wellness chain's goal is to have 100 locations across Canada in 10 years

Health-focused shoppers in the Greater Toronto Area have a few more options for loading up on their foods, vitamins and supplements.

Health and wellness retailer Healthy Planet added to its store count with the grand opening of four locations last weekend, in the communities of Ancaster, Cambridge, Milton and Ajax.

But the family-owned company's plans are far more ambitious. "Our goal is to have 100 stores in 10 years," Syed Rizvi, director of sales and marketing told Canadian Grocer at the Ancaster store opening on Friday. Rizvi says as one of the fastest-growing health and wellness chains in the country, Healthy Planet is on-track to meet its goal. He says the company opened four stores last year and will open six to seven locations in 2019. Currently there are 25 locations in the Healthy Planet network.

When asked why now was a good time to expand its network of bricks-and-mortar stores, Rizvi says the company sees lots of growth potential in the health and wellness industry and that the time is right to take its healthy living message across Canada.

Healthy Planet began as a kiosk in a strip mall on Toronto's Danforth Avenue in 1995 selling nutritional supplements, but over the years the concept has expanded to other categories such as groceries and fresh produce. At the 7,000-sq.-ft. Ancaster store shoppers can find everything from probiotic tablets and natural beauty items to Beyond Meat burgers, bottles of kombucha and fresh produce. "We want to be a one-stop health food market," says Rizvi, "So you don't have to go to a bunch of different retailers to get healthy products."

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