Photography courtesy Ashdown Market
In April, they signed a deal with Sysco, Bernier’s restaurant supplier, and ordered small amounts of produce, meats, dairy and snack food items.
“It wasn’t a traditional supply route for food retail,” said Giesbrecht. “But it allowed us to go ahead with our project without injecting capital.”
He said the store’s initial fresh food offering, which was stored in a single fridge, generated traffic and sales from the get go on May 10.
In the weeks and months that followed, the store added more fridges and items from Sysco and vendors of popular local food and drink brands like Prism Kombucha, Bothwell Cheese, Sheepdog Cold Brew and The Meat Company.
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“Demand really took off,” said Giesbrecht. “We were in the black by the end of summer.”
He said business has only continued to increase since October, when Ashdown Market signed a supply deal with TGP.
“They approached us, which was a nice and welcome surprise,” said Giesbrecht. “Having access to their really limitless supply of food and other items fills a huge void.”
“We’re very excited at the opportunity to build our relationship with Ashdown Market,” said Timothy James, a business advisor with Federated Co-operatives.
He said signing supply deals with TGP gives small retailers more access to competitively-priced goods.
“It gives the opportunity for an independently owned and operated grocery store to be highly competitive in the market while still maintaining profitability,” said James.
Giesbrecht said he and his partners plan to continue adding new products like beer, wine and more grab-n-go food items.
“We’re happy and proud of how things are going because we live in this area and we really love it,” he said. “We’re not just selling food, we’re helping to build our community.”