TORONTO — Family-owned Longo Brothers Fruit Market of Toronto is the latest North American grocer to embrace the smaller-format convenience-store game with the launch of Pronto Eats. The new 1,000-square-foot model inside Toronto’s Hudson’s Bay Centre is slated to open Aug. 26.
Pronto Eats is a small-scale, convenience-based grocery model that will cater to the busy worker and commuter with quality food options for the multitude of meal and snacking occasions in a week. Shoppers can expect to find a wide variety of ready-to-eat and semi-prepared meal options, along with a specialized Longo’s Cafe service.
Along with offering free Grocery Gateway same-day pickup, Pronto Eats will also be the grocer’s first cashless location and will allow guests to skip the lines with the Ritual food app.
Longo's piloted the Pronto Eats model at its Maple Leaf Square location earlier this summer. “Our pilot test was designed to evaluate approachability and the depth of demand for this style of convenience,” said Rosanne Longo, spokesperson and brand ambassador for Vaughan, Ontario-based Longo's. “The response from our guests was overwhelmingly positive and we are thrilled to now bring this concept to life in an ideal location for our demographic and brand.”
Pronto Eats is in the heart of Toronto’s PATH, a network of pedestrian tunnels and walkways that link more than 18 miles of office towers, shopping and entertainment. “For those who work inside or nearby, the PATH is a place where time, quality and convenience intersect, and this is at the core of what Pronto Eats plans to deliver,” Longo said.
With sustainability in mind, Pronto Eats will not offer single-use plastic bags; instead, it will offer multiple reusable solutions. The store is also part of the grocer’s Take It Back Program, through which guests can return plastic and produce bags and have them recycled by Longo’s.
“While the size of the store is a smaller scale than what our guests are used to, the fundamentals of the business remain unchanged. No matter the concept, location or size of the store, we are committed to carrying only the highest quality of food and merchandise, matched with excellent guest service,” Longo said.
In the coming months, Longo’s is set to open additional locations in East Gwillimbury and in Toronto’s Liberty Village.
“Each of our upcoming stores involved us turning our attention to consumer demands and investing money where it really matters most to our guests,” Longo said.
Longo’s operates 34 full-service grocery stores in the Toronto area.
A version of this story first appeared in CSP sister publication Winsight Grocery Business.