Pusateri’s expands delivery in cottage country

For the summer, the Toronto high-end grocer is making stops in Innisfil, Gravenhurst, Bala, Port Carling, and Bracebridge

Toronto high-end grocer Pusateri’s has restarted—and expanded—its delivery service to Ontario’s high-end cottage country.

Pusateri’s has been doing summer-time delivery to a drop-off location in Muskoka since 2016, refining the service and trying different spots each year, said Paolo Pusateri, head of marketing. This year, for the first time, its van is making five stops instead of one.

“Every year as we were changing things up we always seek feedback from customers, and it was ‘We love to use the service but that particular area wasn't super convenient,’” he said. “We were constantly battling [with] where is the right spot to service. And then this year we just thought of servicing everything, to reach the most customers.”

Each Thursday morning, the Pusateri's van usually full with 20 to 25 orders leaves Toronto. It makes a first stop in Innisfil for those with cottages on Lake Simcoe, before continuing North and looping around Lake Muskoka, making 30-minute stops at Gravenhurst, Bala, Port Carling, and Bracebridge.

Shoppers are particularly interested in the fresh meats, which Pusateri's is well-known for, but many are doing full-basket shops including prepared meals and speciality items, said Pusateri. It’s really only “super fresh” products such as bread that customers don’t use the service for very much, choosing to use local vendors instead, he said.

Pusateri declined to say how much the typical order is, but said the average basket size was larger than for the normal delivery around Toronto, and there is no delivery fee for the Muskoka customers on orders of more than $250.

Since resuming the service June 3, interest has been growing, said Pusateri. “And come July and August we expect to see the numbers hitting closer to capacity.”

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