Canada's business magazine for traditional natural health retailers

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New Avril store features organic microgreen farm

The newest Avril Supermarché Santé has taken “going green” to a whole new level.

avril supermarche santeThe giant Quebec-based natural health retailer opened its newest – and largest – location on June 6 in Laval, QC.   One of the most amazing features of this 44,000 sq. ft. store is an indoor farm.  The CultiGo automated vertical farming platform is a technology developed in Quebec by Inno-3B and it will allow Avril Laval to grow organic microgreens on-site year-round. Revolutionary and ecological, this farming technique reduces greenhouse gas emissions, eliminates pesticides and encourages local farming for incomparable freshness. Several varieties and blends of microgreens will be grown at the Laval store, and then be distributed to Avril’s other stores. Avril is the first retailer to use the CultiGo platform.

The Laval location – which the company says via press release is the largest health food store in Quebec – represents a $10M investment for Avril, which was founded in 1995 by Sylvie Senay and Rolland Tanguay. The opening of this new store has created 200 new jobs, bringing the total number of employees to nearly 1,000, working at one of the stores, at the logistics and distribution center or at the head office in Granby.

Three principles

Adapting to its customer’s needs and lifestyle, Avril Laval offers even more choice, based on three main principles: flavour, freshness and simplicity. Customers can now purchase fresh fish, homemade pizza, organic roasted chicken, bread and pastries, gelatos and grab-and-go meals. 

The gelatos are prepared in the traditional Italian style. The pizzas are made from the finest organic ingredients, including San Marzano tomatoes, and are baked on stone in a state-of-the-art oven. The fish comes from sustainable fishing practices and most are Ocean Wise certified.

The new store has a 130-seat food court and a 48-seat terrace. Two menus are offered:  one bistro-style and a vegan alternative.

Avril Laval has a large natural cosmetics department, designed to display iconic natural and organic cosmetic brands from here and abroad. Customers can also benefit from personalized recommendations from beauty advisors and receive skin care treatments in private treatment rooms.

“The opening of our eighth store in Laval is another step towards achieving our ultimate mission of making natural and organic products accessible to all,” says Sylvie. 

 

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