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Marché Adonis opens first urban store in Montreal

Middle Eastern food specialist Adonis debuts in downtown Montreal

Marché Adonis, a seven-store Middle Eastern-style food chain, opened its first downtown store in Montreal last Wednesday.

The 14,000-sq.-ft. supermarket on the city’s main drag, St. Catherine St. W., cost between $6.5 and $7 million to open, said vice-president of operations, Michel Cheaib.

“It is one of our most elegant stores,” he said. At about 6,000-sq.-ft. smaller than their normal-sized stores, the outlet has reduced the proportion of produce to about one-quarter of the store’s products from its normal one-third, he added.

View gallery of Marché Adonis

Adonis has always been known for its large volume and variety of fruit and vegetables, competitive pricing and high staffing levels. It often has more than 10 cashes open and service at the meat, nut and cheese counters is provided by a small army of white-clad clerks.

The downtown store has eight or nine cashes open and will add another cashier for the grilled take-out section to speed up service for the lunch time “grab-a-sandwich” crowd, Cheaib said.

At this location, there are more hot and cold sandwiches on offer, as well as grilled specialties.

The store offers underground parking in two locations and has applied to the city for a permit to free up space in front of the store to provide for car orders.

In another first for Adonis, it is offering home delivery through a sub-contractor, for in-person shopping and for telephone orders.

Cheaib said the company plans to open another Toronto-area location in Scarborough next April. Its first branch outside of Quebec opened in Mississauga, Ont., earlier this year, and the chain is looking to perhaps open stores in Ottawa and Quebec City down the road, he said.

READ: Adonis opens first Ontario store near Toronto

The decision to open a downtown location has been years in the planning, said Cheaib, prompted by customers who complained about having to make the trip to the suburbs to shop at its other supermarkets.

“It took us a while to get going but now we’re now making up for it,” Cheaib said of the chain’s expansion. Adonis was founded in Montreal in 1979 by three partners, Jimmy and Elie Cheaib and George Ghorayeb.

Metro Inc. bought a 55 per cent stake in the chain in 2011 but Cheaib said Adonis management has remained in place.

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