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Eat & Drink

10 grocers and food purveyors Loblaws should buy next

Posted by Liora Ipsum / May 14, 2014

loblaws acquisitionsLast week came the news that Loblaws acquired Arz Fine Foods, meaning that kefta and kadaifi might soon be as ubiquitous as sushi and edamame at your neighbourhood grocer. In 2009, the company bought Asian supermarket chain T&T, the first clear sign our country's largest grocer was aiming to expand its offerings and capabilities to appeal to a more diverse range of Canadian palates. Which got me thinking...what would be my fantasy list of local grocers and food purveyors that could continue to add a little spice and flavour to Loblaws' current inventory - and whose goods I wouldn't mind seeing more widely available to the masses?

Here's my list of 10 Toronto grocers and food purveyors Loblaws should buy next.

Galleria Supermarket
Sure T&T stocks kimchi and bonito broth, that doesn't mean the giant retailer shouldn't sharpen their focus on more specifically Korean foodstuffs. The GTA's largest Korean grocer with locations on York Mills and Yonge and Steeles stocks savoury pancake mixes, fermented seasonings and prepared banchans that may have become commonplace in my diet, but not yet at my nearest grocer.

La Tortilleria
The Mexican food mart supplies fresh tortillas to most of the taquerias in town. Loblaws might already have Weston and Ace Bakery but a fresh tortilla stand mixed in with their bread counter sure would make me happy. If Walmart can make this work in Mexico I'm sure Galen Weston and the brains at Loblaws can find a way to get it done here.

Starsky Foods
The Polish supermarket chain operates on a large scale that Loblaws might find especially attractive. With locations in Mississaugua and Hamilton, this chain would greatly add to Loblaws' current repertoire of kielbasa and paczki. Just imagine the endless bags of frozen pierogi layed out in the freezer beside the PC Organics Canadian Wild Blueberries.

Yummy Market
Since we're talking Europe, we might as well include Yummy Market in the conversation. Their stores in Maple and North York specialize in Eastern European goods like traditional Russian rye breads, kefir products and cured seafoods. The selection of pickled fishes and caviars sold by weight would fit in nicely next to the self-serve oyster bars that have been popping up at some Loblaws locations.

FV Foods
Filipino food is slowly pushing its way into the mainstream so it's about time Loblaws got with the program and acquired a Filipino grocer like FV Foods. With six locations in the GTA, they've got the goods to help strike a deal with Loblaws to introduce specialities like banana ketchup and cassava cake to soccer moms the city over.

Sultan of Samosas
Now that Loblaws has gotten a dose of China and the Middle East it's about time they turn their focus to the Indian Subcontinent. And what better way to bulk up on the selection of Indian goods by starting with a selection of freshly friend fritters and samosas. Whether available at a hot counter for immediate consumption or frozen for take-home, these tasty treats would offer a savoury alternate to the grocer's endless rows of colourful cupcakes.

Kanga Pies
The Australian meat pie company has secured their first retail outlet on Duncan St. after a successful crowdsourcing campaign. But while we wait for the store to open, let's dream about how awesome it would be if the flaky buttery shells filled with butter chicken or steak n' bacon were conveniently available citywide.

Pancho's Bakery
Mexican baked goods are more than just tortillas. If this Mexican bakery were to be acquired by Loblaws the joy of hand-wrapped tamales and fresh empanadas would be a major upgrade from the current line-up of sub-standard sushi, BBQ chicken, meat and potato-heavy prepared foods on offer.

Tastee
Along the same lines as expanding Loblaw's Mexican offerings, it'd be great to bulk up the current selection of Carribean food stuffs. Locally-made Jamaican patties, coco buns and even bottled hot sauce would find themselves on my shopping list more frequently if only they were more readily available.

Cumbraes
Loblaws has already, in recent years beefed up the availability of traditionally raised meats at its butcher counters. While it might not be plausible to roll out Canada-wide, a network of like-mind suppliers could mean exceptional meat would available without the separate shopping trip.

How did I do? What local grocers and food purveyors do you think could up the shopping experience at your local Loblaws?

Discussion

25 Comments

Mike / May 14, 2014 at 10:24 am
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Next up we'll clone Galen Weston JR and have a constant feed of his face on commercials.
W. K. Lis / May 14, 2014 at 10:27 am
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If Loblaws should actually buy Starsky Foods, that they convert the current Loblaws store at 2280 Dundas St. W. (near the Dundas West Subway Station) to a Starsky. It'll draw the Polish crowds from Roncesvalles to the south.
Newsm / May 14, 2014 at 10:57 am
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I hope Loblaws' business analysts find this page and proceed to buy every banner up based on these assumptions alone. Way to go BlogTO!
Sean / May 14, 2014 at 11:43 am
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Uh? Loblaws are doing fine without your suggestion (Liora Ipsum) that they should buy out the competition. I stopped shopping at T&T for the very reason Loblaws bought them out! Got that?

The other grocers offer great food altenatives without being owned by a corporation. There's lots of food offers across the city that a loblaws store, I'm presuming is next where you live or work. What? Too lazy to go out of your bubble?
Alain / May 14, 2014 at 11:51 am
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You're advocating for more wealth for Galen Weston and for the centralization of the grocery market in the GTA? Get a grip.
Philip / May 14, 2014 at 12:03 pm
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What was the point to mentioning T&T under the Galleria supermarket section? That sentence and paragraph don't really make sense in this context.
bill / May 14, 2014 at 01:02 pm
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Because to be successful in Canada is to be gobbled up my a huge corporation.

Have we become so branded, so chain oriented that a local independent no longer qualifies as being successful?

Perry Como / May 14, 2014 at 01:10 pm
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i miss honest ed
Alice / May 14, 2014 at 01:29 pm
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I think this article should have been independent or alternative grocery stores in Toronto. Why not advocate the support of local, independent grocery stores?

BlogTO, you should start reviewing your articles before posting.
Al replying to a comment from Alain / May 14, 2014 at 01:32 pm
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Monopolization, not centralization. But yes, agreed.
Al Hunter (@rastalam) / May 14, 2014 at 01:50 pm
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Leave the Yummy Mart alone! We need independents. They keep quality alive. Loblaws degrades everything into a depressing experience. I call them Loblaws StupidCentres because that's how I feel when I'm coerced into shopping in them.
rek / May 14, 2014 at 01:57 pm
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Up next: 10 local start-ups Apple should buy out before they have a chance to hire employees or contribute to the economy.
tommy replying to a comment from Philip / May 14, 2014 at 02:46 pm
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Seemed fine to me.
Akshay / May 14, 2014 at 05:04 pm
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Look at the BlogTO M&A department, you guys should think about opening an investment bank.
Andy / May 14, 2014 at 05:34 pm
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Why do we want Loblaws to buy these chains? Do we want no uniqueness? I'm still surprised that Loblaws prices can change from location to location.
pho / May 14, 2014 at 06:24 pm
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T&T wasn't the first specialty grocery store to be bought out by Loblaws. They also took over the formerly independent Italian supermarket Fortinos and the German-leaning Zehrs.
Simon Tarses / May 14, 2014 at 09:55 pm
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Seems to me like we need some info on how Toronto's being drowned in a sea of clone store and becoming a clone town:

http://www.neweconomics.org/publications/entry/clone-town-britain

http://www.neweconomics.org/page/-/files/Clone_Town_Britain.pdf

Amy / May 14, 2014 at 10:57 pm
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Next Y'all will scream that the Mom and Pop grocery stores can't survive anymore. Careful what you wish for.
right / May 14, 2014 at 11:35 pm
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Touche. Sound arguments. Keep up the good spirit.
Aaron / May 15, 2014 at 01:23 am
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We are NOT the Borg and we will NOT be assimilated. We are Not numbers but we are individuals.
Kris / May 15, 2014 at 02:05 am
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It would be great to take over FV foods...

They sell food that has mold on it, so it's time for a change.

My mother got sick from that place and we complained, but they didn't do anything about it.

I also reported it to Toronto Health, yet they some how got away with a passing grade.
Warren / May 15, 2014 at 06:37 pm
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Useless article. It's Tim Hortons 50th Birthday today, so why not pick the top 10 independent coffee shops in Toronto that should be bought up and converted to Timmy's
NativeTorontonianAl / May 21, 2014 at 07:25 pm
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BlogTO you bunch of phonies who just want a reaction. Careful what you do, because promoting loss of independent business and takeovers (greed), you will have no more to write about, no city to cover, and BlogTO will cease to exist. Unless you were bought out by the Westons.
NativeTorontonianAl / May 21, 2014 at 07:27 pm
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I meant, Unless perhaps you've already been bought out by the Westons.
john / November 6, 2014 at 01:42 am
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I'm not really sure why you would be promoting small business be bought up by these mega corperations? Isn't itthe small mom and pop shops what makes the shopping experience so great? If lowland buys up these little guys well that's one more place I won't be shopping at

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