On January 23, 2015, the five owners of SOL Natural Foods in Aylmer, QC (James McConnell, Jean-Guy Beaudry, Guy Couture, Marie Couture and Monique Enright) began a long-awaited expansion project. The current store will be increased by 3,000 sq. ft., taking the store size to 6,000 sq. ft. (4,000 sq. ft. sales floor). “We’ve been dreaming of this project for 10 years,” said Monique. “We wanted to offer our customers a sales area of 4,000 sq. ft. Since 2005, SOL has felt the need to double its existing space. Finally, in 2007, an opportunity presented itself. A restaurant went up for sale 600 feet from our location at that time, and the available space was equivalent to the space we were already occupying . We could see expanding our sales area to the 4,000 square feet that we needed. The additional sales area will enable us to increase our inventory. We will also be able to enhance the presentation of our products, improve our customers’ comfort and shopping experience and better serve our customers.”
General manager Guy Couture said despite the work going on, the store has remained open. “One of our greatest challenges has been to let our customers know that we were open during the renovations.” The expansion will be complete this spring. SOL was opened in 1986 by the current owners. •
Ontario Natural Food Co-op (ONFC) is now selling its Ontario Natural brand outside of Ontario. “In an effort to expand and develop its Ontario Naturals brand, ONFC decided late in 2014 to begin shipping to existing ONFC members and customers beyond the Ontario border,” explained Jennifer Hyde, Ontario Natural’s brand manager. “This was a momentous occasion since we had always restricted the sale of our products to Ontario customers. This expansion allowed us to ship to our 125+ customers outside of Ontario, as far west as Winnipeg and as far east as Halifax.
“Alongside this was our decision to develop a working relationship with Horizon Distributors in British Columbia. ONFC and Horizon have had a long-time relationship but had never done any business together, until now. In February of 2015, we started shipping the Ontario Natural sauerkrauts and canned tomatoes to Horizon, which has exclusivity within the province of British Columbia. So far, pick up at the retail level has been strong.”
For more information, contact Jennifer at firstname.lastname@example.org. •