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Local Retail Concept GoodGood Opens 1st Purpose-Built Storefront in Toronto [Interview/Photos]

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Toronto-based local market retailer GoodGood has opened the brand’s first purpose-built location.

Located at 140A The Esplanade in the St. Lawrence Market neighbourhood, the 1,800 square foot store was an opportunity to expand the concept from a pop-up into a full-scale build out.

“We had the St. Lawrence Market area circled on our expansion map and knew that we wanted to be here,” shared Co-Founder Kris Linney. “When the space became available, we put in an aggressive offer right away. With this being our first location, it’s fitting to have the iconic St. Lawerence Market, a lifeline to supporting merchants and artisans – and the ability to be around that – with the amazing meats and fresh produce. We’re just hoping that folks will come this way for snacks and other local products.”

Jackson Turner of CBRE negotiated the deal on behalf of GoodGood and he’s working with the brand on its further expansion.

GoodGood Esplanade (Image: GoodGood)
Kris Linney

GoodGood started with a pop-up on King Street West, which opened in December 2021. When asked about the future of the King West location, Linney shared that the location is signed for a few more months and then the brand will have an opportunity to make a decision on a new location in the neighbourhood.

“The pop-up has done exceptionally well for our expectations, so the opportunity to bring those lessons and analysis into this location – it’s made our customer experience better for sure.”

The Esplanade GoodGood has an outdoor patio with seating indoors, helping with the customers who are looking for a spot to do work and others who are looking for a cafe experience to meet with friends and colleagues.

“The differences between the pop-up store and the Esplanade location can be seen in the physical elements of the layout. With the addition of beer & wine, we are able to create an environment that will attract locals and tourists while having the emphasis on local suppliers. The beer is all from the GTA, including local brands like Left Field, Kensington, Fairweather. Any beer in the GTA that you could imagine – we’ve got it on the list.”

GoodGood Esplanade (Image: Dustin Fuhs)
GoodGood Esplanade (Image: Dustin Fuhs)

With a part-cafe, part-wine bar with an additional flavour of local snacks and a delivery program, GoodGood Esplanade is going to rival the St. Lawrence Market and other big-name chains (Shoppers Drug Mart, Loblaws, Metro) in the neighbourhood.

“We’ve designed the GoodGood format to be a local market, which is focusing on being inviting and welcoming to the neighbourhood. Being a part of every neighbourhood that we open in is incredibly important,” shared Linney.

“The nice thing with the local market is that we’re able to source products that could include everything from chefs that may have had challenges during the pandemic and wanted to continue their passion or just people who had side hustles and wanted to turn it into their full-time career path. We’ve seen a great emergence of it and it’s been super cool to support it.”

The brand will be opening multiple stores over the next two months, including St Clair and Dufferin (1187 St. Clair West) in March, Queen Street West (709 Queen St West) at the end of the month, and Yonge & Davisville (1909 Yonge Street) opening mid-April.

GoodGood Esplanade (Image: Dustin Fuhs)
GoodGood Esplanade (Image: Dustin Fuhs)

“The buildouts for all the locations will be similar, yet unique. For example, the midtown location will have two-floors. Each will have characteristics of the local neighbourhood.”

In addition to the in-store experience with competitive drink pricing and a future loyalty app, the brand is focusing on the trend of most food service businesses.

“Delivery is also big part of our business model, with everything in the store able to be delivered in 60-minutes or less. Our average delivery time is around 32 minutes, depending on the weather and other factors.”

GoodGood has built in systems to continuously source new and interesting local brands, for both snacks and drinks, but the easiest way is to tag the brand on social media.

GoodGood Esplanade (Image: Dustin Fuhs)

“We have a great roast from Jonathan Tavares and Propeller Coffee, which is a great collaboration. A portion of sales go back to supporting The Jonathan Tavares Foundation.”

The locations also have partnerships with local brands that include Come Back Snacks, City Seltzer Sparking Water and General Assembly Pizza, a local premium, frozen pizza—naturally leavened and ready in just 7 minutes.

“About 75% of the sku’s are from Canada. The rest of the international products are typically unique stuff that you wouldn’t find here or there isn’t a replacement for. Every location will have a different sku count, which adds a level of complexity to the business.”

The locations are open from 8am til 6pm, Monday through Sunday.

“This neighbourhood has such a strong tradition of supporting local, and this being our first real location for us is very exciting.”

Additional Images from GoodGood Esplanade

GoodGood Esplanade (Image: Dustin Fuhs)
GoodGood Esplanade (Image: Dustin Fuhs)
GoodGood Esplanade (Image: Dustin Fuhs)

Article Author

Dustin Fuhs
Dustin Fuhshttps://stepstomagic.com/
Dustin Fuhs is the Editor-in-Chief of Retail-Insider.com He is a digital entrepreneur and Retail Specialist with over 20 years experience. He is the founder of Steps to Magic, a travel website that focuses on Disney & Universal theme parks.

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