Featuring 48,000 square feet of retail space, the location is more than a grocery store as it boasts a grab-and-go area, a full-service wine and beer bar in a Loft space that will also house cooking demos and wine tastings, a wine retail area where customers can purchase a selection of Peller wines, as well as a pharmacy.
According to Patrick Rodmill, president of Watt International, a retail agency that helps retailers define their brand to increase sales, “this store is the personification of everything Longo stands for. Everything you see, touch and taste is a symphony for the senses,” explained Rodmill at the concept’s media preview. “We wanted to ensure a pleasant aesthetic while creating a value message. We wanted to bring the fresh tradition to the downtown experience.”
Longo’s will cater to the sophisticated urban shopper with the help of an experienced team of food experts. “The Longo kitchen is the heart of the store,” said David Ashley, assistant store manager. “We have the largest selection of prepared foods of any location. It’s chef-prepared, restaurant-quality made in store. Our meal solutions are 99 per cent preservative-free with vegetarian options and packaging to preserve quality of food.” He added: “There’s something here for every lifestyle. From our hand-stretched pizza, grilled sandwiches to our cooked-to-order panini; our grab-and-go meals are always hot, always ready to eat.”
Priced at $6, $8, or $10, the meals can be taken home or consumed on premise in the Loft, where customers can order a glass of wine or beer while tapping into free Wi-Fi service. “It’s a place to relax, watch the game on TV and learn about Ontario wines,” explains Lesley Martin, the store sommelier. She will be in charge of educating Longo customers about Ontario wines and beers. “We will be bringing in winemakers and brewers and pairing our charcuterie boards and cheese plates with flights of wine,” explained Martin.
The flagship location is in the heart of Toronto’s Lakeshore district, adjacent to the Air Canada Centre. It’s part of the new mixed-use development that features two residential towers, housing 872 condos atop a nine-storey commercial podium that includes a boutique hotel, a daycare and office and retail space as well as the recently opened Real Sports Bar, owned and operated by Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment. The hotel, to be operated by the Germain Group, is set to open its doors in mid-November.