“On the grocery side, we have grocery, dairy, frozen, bakery and meat [departments], even though our original location is relatively small,” says Brychun. “So, we’re trying to be a full-service store and we’re trying to be competitive in that. Our pricing is in line with traditional chain stores, but we’re also really supportive of local. We have local representation in virtually every department and we also use local products on the [kitchen] side of the business.”
The location also has a 45-seat licensed restaurant, with 16 seats on the patio, which serves breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Pitchfork Market + Kitchen is planning to open a second location in downtown Saskatoon early next year. The 18,000-ft.-sq. store will be located at the Midtown Plaza and feature a 100-seat restaurant.
Brychun notes that downtown Saskatoon has been without a grocery store for more than two decades.
“When they did exist downtown, they were very successful, but a lot of the chain stores’ business models have changed to the point where [a downtown location] doesn’t necessarily fit with how they operate,” he says. “So we saw a niche in terms of an abject need for a grocery store servicing that area, but also the ability for us to get into Midtown Plaza, which is the biggest mall in the city. It’s very high profile and has a lot of foot traffic.”
In terms of demographics, Brychun says there are around 20,000 people who work in the downtown core. “We also have around 10,000 residents downtown where there is a range of seniors’ housing and young professionals,” says Brychun. The location is also not too far from the inner city.
“So, we’ve really got some unique demographics with a lot of different needs and a fairly large population base that can drive significant traffic,” says Brychun.