Fresh St. Market Grocery Chain Opening 7th Location in BC with Plans for More [Interview]

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Fresh St. Market is opening its seventh location with a new store in Langley, BC, at the Thunderbird Centre in the Walnut Grove neighbourhood.

And Mark McCurdy, Vice President of Retail Operations and Brand Strategy for the brand, said more locations are to come. 

Mark McCurdy

The brand is operated by the Georgia Main Food Group.

“At Fresh Market, with everything from our local seafood, cheese and curated meats, we are bringing the best of British Columbia and world discoveries to Walnut Grove,” said McCurdy, as the market-concept grocer is set to open on October 22.

“This destination brings a market-like experience to those who live in and around the Fraser Valley who also enjoy supporting local farmers and producers. Langley and neighbouring communities in the Fraser Valley have long been known for rich agricultural produce and food. At Fresh St. Market we are proud to continue our support of the farmers and businesses operating in our community.”

Fresh St. Market in Langley (Image: Fresh St. Market)

McCurdy said the Georgia Main Food Group is part of the H.Y. Louie company, a successful family-led business that started in 1903.

“We’ve had the IGA franchise in BC since 1955 and we started the Fresh St. Market business 10 years ago in early 2013, late 2012,” he said. 

Current locations include Marine Drive, West Vancouver, two Surrey locations in Fleetwood Village and Panorama Village, Whistler Village North, Vancouver House at Howe and Pacific and Aberdeen Mall in Kamloops, and now at Walnut Grove Langley. Additional Fresh St. Market stores are being planned in more B.C. communities with more announcements in the near future. 

“We started this journey with Fresh St. Market and it was a new concept for us where we wanted to focus a lot of our attention on the fresh category and quite often people will say ‘hey what’s for dinner tonight?’ And it all revolves around centre of the plate. So if you’re going in ‘hey let’s have a steak tonight, let’s have some barbecue chicken, or let’s have some lamb chops’ whatever that case may be. It revolves the entire shopping around that,” said McCurdy.

“Generally when it comes to fresh, people are shopping more regularly. They’re coming in daily or sometimes two or three times a week and planning their trips around meals and that becomes an exciting adventure for people when they’re looking to not only just cook what they’re familiar with but maybe discover some other things that we offer whether it’s side dishes, or whether it’s certain spices, or some other recipe ideas that we offer that make a different dinner.”

Fresh St. Market in Langley (Image: Fresh St. Market)

The latest location is a former IGA and it will offer customers a store experience inspired by the executive and culinary team’s touring of top public markets and eateries across North America.

Each area of Fresh St. Market is an adventure, catapulting the recipe imagination and taste buds of chefs and locals alike, added McCurdy.

“(The IGA) was doing quite well but we just felt that the next evolution of this location would be a Fresh St. Market. The district that it’s located in was at one time well established when we opened 15-16 years ago. But recently there’s been this resurgence of the area and a build out of massive proportions in townhomes, apartment complexes, single-family homes. It’s just exploded in the last three or four years,” he said.

Fresh St. Market in Langley (Image: Fresh St. Market)

“And because of that, there’s been a migration of a lot of people from the city. The Langley location is probably give or take an hour from the downtown district. So it’s what you would consider a little bit more affordable for young families, young people starting out, maybe somebody’s downsizing. You’re getting a lot of migration from the city. It’s the Langley area.

“And those people have shopped at Fresh St. Market before where they have different expectations of what grocery stores offer and there was nothing else in the area that we thought could match what we could provide them. We felt that this was a good opportunity for us to go into the Langley market with our Fresh St. Market banner and offer that unique sort of what we call that foodie culture, style of shopping, stores within a store, service counters. Those sort of things that people are quite used to, similar to public markets.

“We’re looking at other locations just in the BC market. Between now and 2024-25 we have another minimum of three more locations coming. We’re pretty excited about that.”

Article Author

Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi, based in Calgary, has more than 40 years experience as a daily newspaper writer, columnist, and editor. He worked for 35 years at the Calgary Herald covering sports, crime, politics, health, faith, city and breaking news, and business. He is the Senior News Editor with Retail Insider in addition to working as a freelance writer and consultant in communications and media relations/training. Mario was named as a RETHINK Retail Top Retail Expert in 2024.

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