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Weston, Lee open 22nd T&T supermarket north of Toronto

Galen Weston, executive chairman of Loblaw, made a surprise visit at the grand opening of the latest T&T Supermarket on Oct. 26.

Weston joined T&T Supermarket founder Cindy Lee at the opening of T&T's third store in the Unionville section of Markham, a town just northeast of Toronto.

T&T, which is owned by Loblaw Companies, operates 22 stores nationwide.

Lee said the new store was inspired by the sights, sounds and tastes found in the bustling Asian street markets of Hong Kong.

T&T's dim sum department features authentic Chinese items.

The store's design features warm pastel colours and Asian-inspired patterns and billboards throughout.

The extensive mushroom section.

T&T's produce area features a light green colour scheme and Chinese lettering.

To give the store an authentic market feel, there's signage with Chinese characters throughout.

Each department has vertical banners with Chinese characters representing the products in the section, said Lee.

The tea department features Chinese artwork.

The Unionville store is 50,000-sq.-ft. and has underground parking for 1,000, said Paul Ho, T&T marketing manager. "The underground parking is perfect for Canadian winters." In line with this, the store has a shopping cart escalator, allowing shoppers to transport their groceries to their cars.

Shoppers can bring their carts down to the underground parking using this high-tech escalator.

T&T is the anchor tenant in the Asian mall that features 150 other retail tenants.

The store has well-known features found at typical street markets in Asia, which Lee said for many Asian Canadians the street market is a nostalgic experience and something they wanted to share with T&T shoppers at the new location.

Asian vegetables, like boy choy are bundled in packs for customers, just like they are in Asian markets.

Shoppers can watch fresh noodles and dumplings being made via a viewing window.

Customers can watch fresh noodles and dumplings being made daily.

The store is the first in the T&T chain to sell hand-made cooked noodles and dumplings to go. Previous locations didn't offer cooked product, customers would have to take it home to cook.

Fresh, hand-made noodles are made daily.

Hand-made dumplings can be cooked on site and eaten in-store.

The sushi department is also unique because it offers made-to-order sushi.

Customers can get sushi made to order at the store.

The opening featured a spectacular Chinese lion and dragon dances, and guests enjoyed a variety of traditional Chinese teas and hors d'oeuvres.

Cindy Lee and guests take part in the lion eye dotting ceremony.

Chinese dancers entertained guests at the opening.

Ho said T&T intends to open two more stores in Vancouver in 2013-14.

Cindy Lee and Galen Weston in the fresh seafood department.

Jack Lee, co-founder of T&T, with Galen Weston of Loblaw at the Unionville store.

Mark van Doodewaard, VP of Loblaw Properties and Bruce Mooney, VP of Market Strategies at Loblaw.

T&T's baked goods section.

Galen Weston samples some dumplings with Cindy Lee.

The extensive live seafood section.

The bakery department offers cakes and desserts.

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