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Longo’s opens new location in Ajax, Ont.

It is the 61-year-old chain’s first store in the fast-growing Durham Region

Longo’s held an “apple-biting ceremony” (the company’s version of a traditional ribbon cutting) for its newest location in the commuter city of Ajax, Ont. on Wednesday.

Vice-president of marketing Alex Green says the 40,000 sq. ft. store – the company’s 31st and its first in the province’s fast-growing Durham Region – addresses growing customer demand for Longo’s.

Durham Region’s population was listed at more than 645,000 in the 2016 Census, a 6.2% increase from 2011 that outpaced 5.5% growth for the country as a whole. Green says the area is increasingly home to young, “food-engaged” families.

Company spokesperson Rosanne Longo says many customers have discovered the chain through either working or living in Toronto and using Longo’s services like Grocery Gateway, creating demand when they start families and move to suburban markets like Ajax and Guelph (the site of a store slated to open later this year).

In development for several years, the newest Longo’s store features the company’s Loft Cooking School, as well as a fresh salad and sushi bar; a full-service deli offering more than 300 local and international cheese and deli meats; a full-service Starbucks and a full-service seafood counter featuring flown-in-fresh and catch of the day items.

Among the store’s other key additions is a fresh mozzarella station where customers can watch the cheese being hand-stretched on weekends, and a fresh bakery that produces store-made tortillas and the Indian flatbread chapati.

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