Pusateri’s Fine Foods to Open Store Near Toronto’s Little Italy as the Retailer Marks 60 Years [Interview]

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Pusateri’s Fine Foods is planning a new store location at College St. and Ossington Ave., in Toronto, set to open late summer 2023 as they celebrate the brand’s 60th anniversary this year.

In a fitting manner on this milestone occasion, Pusateri’s will be opening their latest store in the neighborhood where their original store, Pusateri’s Supermarket, opened in 1963. To be located at 899 College St., the community close to Little Italy community can expect this new location to uphold the same reputation Pusateri’s is known for – a high quality assortment of everyday, speciality, and unique products and exceptional services for any special occasion and everyday celebrations with fresh and prepared foods, gifting items, and florals.

An exciting addition to the new location will include a café concept offering breakfast, a coffee bar with signature brews, and daily menu with indoor and outdoor seating, creating a neighbourhood hub for the local community to come together and share a delicious meal. 

“Our current growth plans for Pusateri’s consist of getting back to our roots and rejoining the community where it all started with the opening of the Little Italy store. When expanding our business, we carefully consider how we can meet and exceed each individual community’s needs,” said Paolo Pusateri, Head of Marketing at Pusateri’s Fine Foods.

Image: Pusateri’s

“From its early beginnings, Pusateri’s has always been passionate about introducing Toronto to many delicacies from around the world, believing in only sharing the best, high quality products. This has remained their guiding principle and the standard of excellence they set on premium grocery shopping. Pusateri’s customers have the unique experience of being able to enjoy a gourmet hot lunch while having an upscale shopping experience, finding a quality assortment of everyday, speciality, and unique products.”

He said the first Pusateri’s, previously named Pusateri’s Supermarket, opened in 1963 in Corso Italia at Dufferin and St. Clair by Salvatore and Rosaria Pusateri and their children. There are currently four Pusateri’s Fine Foods stores located within the Greater Toronto Area (Avenue Road, Bayview Village, Yorkville and the Saks Food Hall at CF Toronto Eaton Centre). All Pusateri’s products are also available on its e-commerce website, offering accessible delivery within the GTA. 

“After immigrating to Canada from Sicily in 1957, Salvatore and Rosaria Pusateri felt compelled to share their passion and love for food by opening a small produce market in Toronto’s Little Italy (Dufferin & St. Clair). What started as a local community market gained a reputation for quality extending throughout the city, and it established the foundation for what is now known today as Pusateri’s Fine Foods,” he said. 

“Envisioned by their son, Cosimo Pusateri, he set out to create a special place for those who appreciate quality, by sourcing artisan products not seen in Toronto before creating a destination shopping experience and a reason to celebrate with food each day. With Pusateri’s coming store opening, we’re returning to Little Italy (College & Ossington) and rejoining the community where it all started.”

Image: Pusateri’s
Saks Food Hall by Pusateri’s – CF Toronto Eaton Center (Image: Dustin Fuhs)

Pusateri’s opened a second phase of the CF Toronto Eaton Centre Saks Food Hall location in October 2022 in response to the market rebound of the Financial District. In this phased opening, Pusateri’s expanded fresh offerings for the lunch crowd and on-the-go shoppers. The location currently offers gourmet, fresh-to-go meals, with a selection of pastries, produce, cheese and deli, snacks and pantry items. A further third phase of the reopening is planned as traffic in this market continues to recover. 

“Pusateri’s is a special place for those who appreciate quality – where exploring artisan foods with thoughtful service creates a reason to celebrate each day. This mantra resonates with our customers as they look to Pusateri’s for reliable, consistent butchers, fresh produce, worldly products, fresh baked goods, and the city’s finest prepared fare no matter the occasion,” explained Paulo Pusateri.

“The pandemic gave Pusateri’s the opportunity to re-evaluate how to best continue serving their customers by expanding into the digital shopping environment and investing in their own fully enabled e-commerce website. Pusateri’s online store offers the same availability of high-quality products, catering, and family meal planning boxes with door to door delivery. 

“While Pusateri’s e-commerce website continues to remain a vital tool to serve our customers, in-store offerings are still the core of the Pusateri’s experience and ultimately why we are expanding to the Little Italy neighborhood. The new location will embrace meeting in person again with a new café concept offering breakfast, a coffee bar with signature brews, and daily menu creating a neighbourhood hub for the local community to come together and share a delicious meal.” 

Pusateri’s Future Little Italy Location
Image: Pusateri’s Bayview Village

He said the retail sector is flooded with many choices and rising inflationary cost pressures are restricting sales opportunities. Not many stores meet all consumers’ needs, leaving them struggling to find reliable retailers that offer quality products with a variety of selections to make for an easy one-stop-shop. 

“Pusateri’s has always recognized this winning combination and structured our business model to offer a wide selection of quality products, catering for all occasions, and fresh-to-go ready meals, making an effortless shopping experience for our customers,” he said.

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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