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Sobeys launches South Asian store

Chalo FreshCo aims to provide one-stop-shop for desi shoppers

Sobeys is making its first foray into South Asian grocery.

On Thursday, the company opened a South Asian-focused discount store called Chalo FreshCo in Brampton, Ont.

The 50,000-sq.-ft. store in the Toronto suburb features an assortment of rice, spices, lentils, snacks and produce. It also has an outpost of Amaya, a popular Indian restaurant whose branded products are also sold in Longo’s, Metro, Loblaws and Whole Foods.

Aman Meat Shop, Al Marwa Sunrise Meats and Starfish Market are supplying the new store’s full-service seafood, halal meat and non-halal meat counters.

Online ads promoting the store read “The first Canadian grocery store designed for desis is here!”

“Chalo” means “let’s go” in South Asian languages, while “desi” is a common term for those of South Asian descent.

“Chalo FreshCo is a significant and unique addition to our company’s food retailing lineup,” said Rob Adams, general manager of discount format at Sobeys, said in a release.

Research shows many South Asians visit several stores each week to get their groceries. Chalo, Adams said, allows customers to find all products they need under one roof.

The store’s first weekly flyer offers deals on products such as Sher desi-style durum atta flour and Brar’s Malai Paneer. It also shows a recipe for chicken tikka naan pizza.

FreshCo, Sobeys’ discount supermarket chain, was established in 2010. There are currently 88 FreshCo stores, all in Ontario.

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