Healthy Planet Expands in Southern Ontario with 4 New Locations and Innovative Healthy Planet Kitchen [Interview]

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Healthy Planet, one of Canada’s fastest growing health and wellness retail chains, has opened four new locations in southern Ontario – Toronto, Scarborough, Ajax and London.

Healthy Planet started in 1995 and quickly became one of Canada’s fastest growing, Canadian owned, health and wellness grocery chains with 33 retail stores currently operating. 

Muhammad Mohamedy

Muhammad Mohamedy, General Manager of Healthy Planet Canada, said the company’s mission is to help Canadians live healthier every day. 

“We are ever expanding our store format with an added range of health and wellness products, including supplements, vitamins, sports nutrition, health foods, organic groceries, bath, beauty, pet supplements, eco-friendly home products and fresh prepared food,” he said.

“We are especially proud to announce the launch of our Healthy Planet Kitchen at the Ajax location, which will offer a chef-inspired menu comprising of soups, salads, sandwiches, wraps, bowls, pizzas, freshly squeezed organic juices, smoothies, breakfast items, baked goods, and snacks. All of our offerings are artfully prepared and assembled from scratch daily. 

“Our aim is to make it simple for our customers to prioritize their health and wellness with a menu that is predominantly organic, delicious and exclusive to our kitchen.”

PHOTO: HEALTHY PLANET

The concept began as a small kiosk in a strip mall on Danforth Avenue in Toronto. It then opened its first store at the Parkway Mall in early 1998.

Mohamedy said the company is working on another four locations this year – two new stores and two renovations. A new store should be opening in Richmond Hill in July or August and another store in downtown Toronto at Yonge and Dundas in September and October. The current Oakville location is being renovated to a bigger footprint that should be completed by September. 

“We have another six locations signed for next year,” he said.

“Our strategy has always been to go into the markets where there’s not a lot of health food stores available or where there’s not a lot of natural supplements, groceries. We’re going into a lot more of the groceries aspect to it – organic groceries and natural food. That is one area we’ve been really pushing through.

“Now we’re also adding a kitchen. We started that with one location but this year we’re adding three more locations where it’s kind of grab and go food but a healthier version of it. So instead of going to fast food we have natural fast food available.”

Image: Healthy Planet

Mohamedy said a kitchen will be going into the Oakville location as well as an existing store in Mississauga. A kitchen will also be part of the new Yonge and Dundas store and also one in its Etobicoke location.

He said there are plans for more kitchens.

“It won’t be everywhere but where the space allows us to do it we’re going to be adding one in and this is one of our strategies to add that in as there’s a consumer demand for healthier food,” said Mohamedy.

“We’ve done some research on it and people are looking for options other than going to McDonald’s or other major fast food places.”

He said there’s no limit to the company’s expansion plans.

“As long as we’re growing, our sales are good. One of the key things for us is having well-trained staff at our stores – the customer service element. As long as we’re able to keep that mark, we’ll continue to grow,” he said.

Currently the company is concentrated in southern Ontario with a couple of stores in Ottawa. Does the company have plans of going beyond that geography?

“For this year and next year, we don’t have any plans to go outside of Ontario,” said Mohamedy. “But beyond that we’re looking at all the options available. Ontario is the biggest market in Canada so we want to make sure that all areas are covered before we go there. For new areas you need to have a strong team and we’re building towards that right now.”

Mohamedy said the company has realized that today’s consumers are having a hard time making ends meet with inflation on the rise. So the company is aligning its brand with food banks and organizations where it can be part of the community.

“Even though we’re expanding we still want to be involved in every community that we go. So the prices that we put in our stores is also reasonable and at the same time we want to be aligned to the charities,” 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.

4 COMMENTS

  1. Windsor-Essex needs one. I buy monthly items recommended by naturopath and I have friends and family in Michigan who also purchase but the shipping it’s crazy expensive, crossing the border to shop onsite would be more cost effective if one was closer, like in Windsor, it is a large border city that is expanding greatly.

  2. I also get my Naturopath scripts from Healthy Planet but would love to shop in store! Please build in Chatham or Sarnia!!

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