Summerhill Market and CFIG bring expertise to Thought Starters Conference

Expert grocery panel provide expert tips for building your grocerant business

It should come as no surprise that shoppers are searching for high quality, fresh HMR items in your store. But how are innovative grocers capitalizing on fresh and flavourful restaurant-style meals to meet the time-strapped needs of shoppers?

At Canadian Grocer's inaugural Thought Starters Conference next month, an expert panel will discuss what goes into building a grocerant business model.

Moderated by Tom Barlow, president and CEO of the Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers, these four panelists will bring first-hand insight and lessons learned.

The panel features Christy McMullen, co-owner of Summerhill Market; Gary Wildman, director of food services, Longo’s; Jeff York, CEO, Farm Boy and John Mastroianni, VP of merchandising at Pusateri’s Fine Foods.

To be fully prepared for this informative session, we recommend the articles below. Haven't registered yet? Click here.

Here’s your grocerant primer:


Canadian Grocer spoke to experts, including Longo’s Gary Wild and CFIG’s Tom Barlow, about how to move into the grocerant business. We then conveniently compiled their insights into ten handy tips for raising your HMR
READ: How to be a better grocerant


Earlier this year, Pusateri's Fine Foods looked to revive the food hall concept by opening Saska Food Hall by Pusateri's at Sherway Gardens Mall in Mississauga, Ont. The store hosts ten culinary stations including a Nutella Cafe, sushi bar, cafe and cold-pressed juice bar. Similar to Pusateri's other locations, it also features a wide variety of gourmet grab-and-go prepared food options for shoppers. John Mastroianni, VP of merchandising at Pusateri’s, spoke with us about the retailer's enhanced offerings:
VIEW: Inside Saks Food Hall by Pusateri’s


Farm Boy isn't a grocery store, according to CEO Jeff York. It's a fresh food experience. The Ottawa-based chain has is in serious growth mode, having ventured outside the country's capital to expand in cities across Ontario. And its bountiful HMR selection is part of the company's overall goal of delivering the best fresh shopping experience every day. York spoke with Canadian Grocer about delivering the best fresh shopping experience
READ: Farm Boy’s Jeff York on mega growth and succeeding in fresh


Toronto's Summerhill Market has a loyal following, and with good reason: they're a true community grocer. Today, Summerhill puts a huge emphasis on prepared foods, with hundreds of HMR items made from scratch. And they're not afraid to try new things. In January, Summerhill began selling sweet and savoury food items featuring edible insects, including a cricket pie. Plus, they're all about bringing their products to a new audience, having partnered with grocery delivery service Instabuggy/

READ: InstaBuggy starts expanded coverage with Summerhill Market and Summerhill adds bugs to the menu

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